Currency is Inevitable
Quick integration of East Asia's economies will provide a shot in the arm for the inevitable birth of a unified Asian currency. It took Europe about 40 years to produce the euro, but I believe full integration of East Asia's economies will occur in the next eight to 10 years - though the road to an Asian currency may be longer. I am optimistic for the following reasons. First, fast integration of 3 East Asia's economies. The complimentary nature of the region's economies allows the efficient allocation of capital, labor and natural resources.
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Asia Summit's Birthing Pains
At Last October's meeting of ASEAN heads of government in Vientiane, Laos, it was announced that an East Asian Summit will be launched by Malaysia (as host of the next ASEAN Summit) towards the end of this year. Many political observers in the region proclaimed the birth of a 'new Asia' - breaking new ground in Asian integration and community building.
Of equal interest today is the firm intent of India to join any East Asian grouping. As one senior Indian academic told me at an India-inspired High Level Conference on Asian Integration, held in Tokyo last November, New Delhi is determined not to 'miss the first train' of Asian integration.
Saddled with a troubled neighbourhood (terrorism, Kashmir, a royal coup d'etat in Nepal, growing Islamic militancy in Bangladesh, among other problems), India wants to avoid at all costs becoming a 'second-class member' of Asia. So India is seeking to be incorporated into the EAS' inner core - at whatever price.
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Answer to the IMF
When Haruhiko Kuroda was
named in November as the new chief of Asia's most influential development
agency, central bankers knew it would not be long before the career technocrat
shifted the agenda back to the delicate issue of monetary union. And the
timing could not be any better, given the dollar's free fall, concern
over the sick US trade and fiscal accounts and the risks these entail
for the region's blossoming free trade agreements.
We should not interpret East Asia as a geographic concept but rather as a functional one. The dynamics of the economic, political and security interdependence in the region are constantly changing the extent of East Asia. The participation of India, Australia and New Zealand in various types of cooperative endeavors in East Asia could be considered as part of the functional concept of East Asia.
Endy M. Bayuni
Looking beyond, a more confident India is already pushing the idea of a long term vision of a broader Asian economic community, involving initially ASEAN countries, India, China, Japan and South Korea.
Again both prime ministers Manmohan Singh and his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in spite of coming from ideologically different political parties, have been selling the idea of an Asian community at the ASEAN summits.
There is a good reason why ASEAN and the rest of Asia should pay heed to India.
and India Aim to Extend Cooperation
"The India-China two-way trade is now US$1 billion a month, compared to US$1 billion a year a decade ago. This twelve-fold increase in the last decade only goes to prove that though we are competitors in many respects, we are also complementary and supplementary to each other," an official statement said, quoting Kamal Nath. He also pointed out that if one takes ASEAN, China, Japan, Korea, and India together, the size of such an integrated market is that of the European Union in terms of income, and bigger than the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in terms of trade.
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Step in Region's Financial Development
Tight or loose dollar pegs have provided a convenient way to maintain competitiveness, especially on an intraregional basis. But emerging Asian policymakers show little interest in deeper monetary integration with the United States. With the exception of Hong Kong's currency board system, no emerging Asian country runs its domestic monetary policy directly off US policy
Emerging Asian economies have an interest in developing deeper regional cooperation through creating regional swap arrangements and two regional bond funds. So far, these efforts have been more symbolic than substantive. It would make sense for policymakers to extend this principle of cooperation to regional exchange rate policy.
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and Japan Should Deepen Strategic Engagement
India has made good progress during the past decade in constructively engaging key countries and regional organisations. This has been made possible as India continues to translate its economic potential into actual performance, and pursues strong national security policies.
At this juncture, there is a strong case for India and Japan to broaden and deepen economic and political engagement to enhance strategic depth and leverage. The two countries had envisaged “global partnership” in 2000, and it is time to give greater substance to it. That India is the single largest recipient of Overseas Development Assistance is a strong signal from Japan, but it needs to be complemented by more robust economic and political relations.
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Ramkishen S Rajan
Asian economic regionalism' has been a topic of long-standing debate in
academic and policy arenas, there has been a particular heightening of
interest in the subject over the last few years. This is due to a number
first is the contagious effects of the Asian economic crisis of 1997-98,
along with the perceived inadequate responses to the crisis by multilateral
agencies and extra-regional economic powers like the
The second is some notable external developments in regionalism, including hesitant moves to create a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and, more importantly, the enlargement of the EU and the successful launch of the euro.
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