Asia's Agricultural Ministers Gather in Beijing
Asian Single Currency still Decades Away
Asean+3 to Further Financial, Monetary Cooperation, Structural Reforms
Reform, Cooperation key to keep progress in Asia: ADB Chief
Emerging Asian Union

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asia's Agricultural Ministers Gather in Beijing

Vietnam News Agency Online
May 25, 2004

Agricultural ministers from 20 Asian countries gathered in Beijing on Monday to seek partnerships in the sector.

Agricultural partnerships between Asian countries in the coming years will be necessary for practical technology transfer, sustainable rural development and poverty alleviation, according to a joint initiative of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Workshop for Agricultural Ministers.


Cooperation can be carried out in various ways including agro-technical training courses, workshops, exhibitions and fairs for agricultural products, trade, talks, bilateral and multilateral study tours and agricultural investment, according to the joint initiative.

Click here to read further http://www.vnagency.com.vn/NewsA.asp?LANGUAGE_ID=2&CATEGORY_ID=34&NEWS_ID=100984

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Asian Single Currency still Decades Away

Manila Times Online
May 16, 2004

East Asia’s dream of a European Union-style single currency remains decades away, although initial steps have been taken toward regional economic and financial integration, experts said here Friday. With a region as diverse as Asia, political will is crucial if this dream is to become a reality, they said at a seminar on the eve of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual meeting here. “When we think about a single currency, the greater the political factor seems to dominate,” Haruhiko Kuroda, special adviser to the Japanese Cabinet, told the seminar on the prospects for a single regional unit.


But like the experience of the European Union, which introduced the euro into the financial system 2002 after a long gestation period, the road will be long, painful and laborious.Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, a member of the executive board of the European Central Bank, said the European experience “suggests that a single currency takes decades, not just years, to develop.” To learn from this experience, Padoa-Schioppa advised Asian government not to focus on the latest steps surrounding the introduction of the euro but on the trade, monetary and financial cooperation in Europe in the decades before.

Click here to read further http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2004/may/16/yehey/opinion/20040516opi5.html

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Asean+3 to Further Financial, Monetary Cooperation, Structural Reforms

Xinhua Online
May 15, 2004

Finance ministers from the ASEAN+3 countries held their 7th meeting here Saturday and agreed to further promote financial and monetary cooperation and structural reforms in the region. The ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, Japan and South Korea agreed that growth was supported by accommodative monetary and fiscal policiesin many countries, which contributed to further strengthening in domestic demand. In a joint statement, the ministers, who are here attending the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank, noted that continuedefforts to accelerate corporate and financial restructuring, fiscal consolidation and improved investment climate have also ledto a more conducive economic environment.

Click here to read further http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-05/15/content_1471640.htm

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Reform, Cooperation key to keep progress in Asia: ADB Chief

Xinhua Online
May 15, 2004

...He also stressed the importance of strengthening capital markets including pioneering rupee bond issue in India earlier this year and supporting for Asian Bond Markets Initiative among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, Japan and South Korea. "The most significant benefits of regional cooperation, however,are stability, peace and security based on mutual trust and goodwill created by countries increasingly working together," he said. Looking ahead, the ADB president noted a distinct trend toward broader Asia-wide economic cooperation and integration. The number of free trade agreements and other regional cooperation arrangements is increasing and there is a growing view that the region as a whole should strive for closer economic integration, said Chino.

Click here to read further http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-05/15/content_1471342.htm

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Emerging Asian Union

Progressive Policy Institute
Press Release
May 13, 2004

The Progressive Policy Institute today released a study examining the dramatic increase in Asian economic integration, highlighting mainland China's rapid economic fusion with its wealthy neighbors. In The Emerging Asian Union? China Trade, Asian Economic Integration and a New Competitive Challenge, Ed Gresser, director of PPI's Trade and Global Markets Project, argues that this budding informal "Asian Union" has created a powerful new competitive challenge for the U.S., and that -- as with the Japanese challenge of the 1980s -- Americans must "raise our game" in response.

The American debate on China trade issues has become increasingly controversial over the past year, ranging from intellectual property rights to labor standards to currency rates to WTO implementation. In reality, however, these problems are no worse, and in fact are often less severe, than they were five or ten years ago.

In this new policy report, Gresser argues that the real cause of the increased controversy over U.S trade policy runs much deeper than most have recognized. A chain of political and economic events began in the

1990s have led to a boom in investment on the Asian Mainland and greater Asian competitiveness. These events are now combining the wealth and technological sophistication of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore with the low costs and vast manpower reserves of mainland China.

"China's emergence as America's most visible source of goods reflects a structural change in the Asian economy more than it reflects new Chinese trade or labor policies," Gresser writes. "The development offers economic and security opportunities, carries with it potential sources of risk and financial instability, and also means a powerful new competitive challenge."

The new PPI report illustrates that the results of the new Asian economic integration are already transforming trade patterns worldwide. American imports from the five wealthy Asian economies have dropped by $47 billion, reflecting their movement of final processing into China, and American imports from China have jumped by $52 billion and diversified into a range of sophisticated and increasingly high-tech manufactured goods. And while China has also emerged as one of the world's leading importers -- accounting for $250 billion in import growth since 1999, as compared to $100 billion for the U.S. -- its emergence at the center of the 'Asian Union' means that American industries at all levels feel far more competitive pressure than they did in the 1990s.

The good news: with the right approach, America is well positioned to address this challenge, and to "raise our game" by adopting a new competitiveness agenda. Gresser argues that traditional trade policy measures focusing on issues such as barriers to exports or intellectual property rights are valuable but ultimately insufficient. American manufacturers, especially in lighter, more labor-intensive industries, must address these challenges through more fundamental efforts to find new sources of comparative advantage in quality and customization and improved adjustment policies for workers.

Click here to read the full report http://www.ppionline.org/ppi_ci.cfm?knlgAreaID=108&subsecid=127&contentid=252629

 

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