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Regional surveillance unit accorded international organisation status

THE Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (Amro) - a regional surveillance unit that promotes independent macroeconomic monitoring - has been accorded the status of an international organisation.

This means it now has the same standing as other institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Friday.

As such, Amro has been granted functional privileges and immunities that will enable a wider scope of data to be obtained - giving a boost to its ability to assess financial developments and to formulate policy recommendations.

Amro is headquartered in Singapore and has close to 40 staff members from Asean+3 countries, which comprise the 10 Asean member states, and China, Japan and South Korea.

Said Mr Heng: "As Amro grows and develops its surveillance capabilities, it will establish an effective early warning mechanism for emerging risks in the region.

"Our vision is for Amro to develop into an authoritative interpreter of economic and financial developments in the Asian region."