17th APG Annual Meeting Concludes in Macao, China
The 17th Annual Meeting of the APG was held in Macao, China from 14 to 18 July 2014 and was attended by almost 400 delegates from all 41 APG members. Also in attendance were observer delegates from France, Germany, Portugal, the Russian Federation and Tuvalu (admitted earlier in the year). Observer organisations in attendance included the Financial Action Task Force, the Eurasian Group against Money Laundering, the Asian Development Bank, the IMF, World Bank, United Nations, UNODC and newly admitted observers, the Asset Recovery Interagency Network - Asia Pacific and the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police. The Pacific Island Law Officers Network was admitted earlier in the year as a new observer.
Key note addresses were made by Mr Francis Tam, the Secretary for Economy and Finance of Macao, China, and Mr Roger Wilkins, President of the Financial Action Task Force/Secretary of the Attorney General’s Department (Australia). Of the APG, the FATF President said:
“The APG has a reputation as being a very efficient and effective FSRB [regional FATF style body]. It covers the most dynamic and rapidly developing region of the world, particularly in terms of the rates of economic growth and the movement of funds. This means it incorporates a huge range of jurisdictions - in different sizes and stages of development.”
Key outcomes of this year’s annual meeting include the following:
- Admission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as an APG observer;
- Completion of 25 individual meetings in the Technical Assistance Forum between APG members and technical assistance donors (both multi-lateral and bi-lateral);
- Two sub-regional meetings for ASEAN and Pacific Island Forum members, jointly chaired by the APG Secretariat, ASEAN representatives and APG/Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat respectively;
- Two technical seminars on topics of current interest to the membership, namely preparing APG members for the 3rd round of mutual evaluations, and risk and financial sector supervision;
- Agreement for a new business plan for the upcoming year as well as agreement on other governance arrangements including a revised APG communications policy;
- Adoption of 33 second round mutual evaluation progress reports;
- New mutual evaluation procedures for the APG’s third round of evaluations;
- Approval of a revised schedule for the new round of mutual evaluations, which commenced in early 2014 which will see an average of five evaluations per year;
- Adoption of the APG’s annual typologies report including separate reports on the progress of other important projects;
- Adoption of a new policy of reporting voluntary tax compliance schemes.
The meeting saw the end of China’s two-year term as APG rotating co-chair (2012-2014). China was represented by Mr Liu Zhengming, the Deputy Director-General of the Peoples’ Bank of China in the role which saw significant achievements during his tenure. New Zealand assumed the role of rotating co-chair at the close of the Annual Meeting for the next two years. Mr Frank McLaughlin, Deputy Secretary, Policy at the New Zealand Ministry of Justice will represent the government of New Zealand. The next APG annual meeting will be held in Auckland in July 2015.
Of the 17th Annual Meeting, APG Co-Chair Deputy Commissioner Colvin stated:
“The APG Annual Meeting, as always, is a very important event for international cooperation within the Asia/Pacific region. This year saw a further strengthening of the opportunities for cooperation with the admission of new observers who will be important partners in our united efforts to deter money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing both regionally and globally.”