Friday, 2 December 2016

Tharman named chairman of G-30, a group of leading global economists

DPM appointed next chairman of G-30, which seeks to deepen understanding of economic and financial issues
By Charissa Yong, The Straits Times, 1 Dec 2016

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has been appointed the next chairman of the prestigious global body of top financial experts known as the Group of Thirty (G-30).

The Washington-based private group is made up of leading economists and policymakers from around the world, and seeks to deepen understanding of international economic and financial issues.

Mr Tharman's term will begin on Jan 1 and run for five years, the G-30 said in a statement yesterday.

He succeeds outgoing chairman and former European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet.

Mr Tharman, 59, is also Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, and chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

He said of his appointment: "It will be a real privilege to succeed Jean-Claude Trichet, whose knowledge, wisdom and warmth have made him a role model for so many of us, in the G-30 and beyond.

"I look forward to working closely with my colleagues in the group as we continue to inform and influence dialogue within the global economic and financial community."

G-30 board of trustees chairman Jacob A. Frenkel welcomed Mr Tharman's appointment, saying: "We are confident that Tharman will successfully pursue the group's mission: to deepen understanding of key international economic and financial issues and, thereby, contribute to the quality of public policy decision-making."

Mr Frenkel, who chairs JP Morgan Chase International and is a former Bank of Israel governor, was himself reappointed to chair the G-30 board.

The G-30, which was set up in 1978, hosts invitation-only forums for senior industry leaders.

It also puts out reports on topical issues, such as unregulated shadow banking and capital markets, and oil's impact on the global economy, that are studied in depth by policymakers.

Its members are from both the public and private sectors, and include influential economists such as Mr Paul Krugman, Mr Lawrence Summers and Dr Raghuram Rajan, former US Federal Reserve governor Ben Bernanke, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, and People's Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan.

In 2008, Mr Tharman became the first Singaporean to be inducted into the G-30.

He was Singapore's finance minister from 2007 to 2015, and chaired the International Monetary Fund's international monetary and financial committee from 2011 to 2015.

* Tharman to chair G-20 group to review global financial governance

By Chia Yan Min, Economics Correspondent, The Sunday Times, 23 Apr 2017

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has been appointed chairman of a newly convened international group of top economists and leaders, which has been tasked to review issues related to global financial governance.

At the Group of 20 (G-20) finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Washington on Friday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble and Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann announced the formation of an Eminent Persons Group on global financial governance, to be chaired by Mr Tharman.

The Eminent Persons Group will be tasked with reviewing issues relating to global financial governance, in particular the work of international finance institutions.

These include the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and multilateral development banks such as the World Bank Group and regional development banks.

An outline of its planned work will be presented at the next meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors in October.

This is not Mr Tharman's first appointment to a top global role.

He succeeded Mr Jean-Claude Trichet as chairman of the prestigious global body of top financial experts known as the Group of Thirty in January, becoming the first Asian to chair the Washington-based private group, which is made up of leading economists and policymakers from across the world.

Mr Tharman was previously also appointed chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, the key policy forum of the IMF, for an extended period of four years from 2011, and was also its first Asian chair.

Other prominent Singaporeans have previously been appointed to an Eminent Persons Group. Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh was appointed to represent Singapore in the Asean-China Eminent Persons Group in 2005, while former deputy prime minister S. Jayakumar was also part of the Asean Eminent Persons Group, formed in 2005 to create the Asean Charter.

CIMB Private Bank economist Song Seng Wun said Mr Tharman's previous experience at multilateral organisations stands him in good stead for this new appointment, which will likely involve dealing with thorny, complex multilateral governance issues involving a host of stakeholders. "Singapore is likely seen as a neutral party with a strong reputation for good corporate governance and upholding the rule of law," added Mr Song.

Mr Tharman is in Washington until today. The Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies was there to meet the heads of the World Bank and IMF, as well as top US officials and heads of other multilateral development institutions.

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