Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam is staying on as chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) for a year more.

He has been asked by the members of the IMFC to extend his term as chairman by one year upon the conclusion of his term on March 22, 2014.

Mr Tharman was selected as IMFC chairman on March 22, 2011, for a term of up to three years and has agreed to extend his term until March 22, 2015. He was the first Asian to be appointed IMFC chairman.

The IMFC is the policy steering committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the organisation initiated in 1944 to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.

The IMF said in a press release that "the members of the IMFC view Minister Tharman's strong leadership as valuable in the Committee's deliberations, and continuity of his leadership in the year ahead as particularly helpful in ensuring that all members' views are taken into account, including with respect to significant ongoing reforms".

The IMFC comprises the IMFC chairman, the managing director of the IMF and 24 members comprising finance ministers or central bank governors, representing the IMF's 188 member countries.

The committee meets twice a year in the spring and at the time of the IMF-World Bank annual meetings in the fall to discuss key policy challenges and risks facing the international monetary and financial system. The meetings are also attended by the heads of key international institutions such as the World Bank, the European Central Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Recent discussions have centred on several global issues including structural reforms to reduce unemployment, boost longer-term productivity, achieve more inclusive growth, and mitigating risks and achieving a more stable global financial system.

The IMFC has also played an important policy steering role in advancing IMF's work in key areas. These include securing financing to sustain concessional lending to low-income countries, improvements to the IMF's surveillance framework of the highly integrated world economy, and enhancing the IMF's resources for global crisis prevention and resolution in 2012.

During Mr Tharman's term as chairman, in April 2012, the IMFC, together with the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors, secured firm commitments from various countries to increase resources available to the IMF by US$456 billion.