Ambassador Takano: Currency Integration among Korea, Japan, and
China on the Way
The Dong-A Ilbo, Korea
October 27, 2004
Ambassador to Korea Toshiyuki Takano on October 27, regarding the
issuance of a combined currency for Korea, Japan, and China, commented,
“We have made some progress, and I believe more progress will be
made on the talks about the issue.”
answered, “[Of course,] the currency integration is not a matter
to be decided overnight, and it needs meticulous preparation to
help ready the political and economic systems of each nation,” and
added, “I believe this issue [of currency integration] needs close
cooperation between Korea and Japan as well.”
here to read further: http://english.donga.com/srv/service.php3?bicode=050000&biid=2004102884378
and India to Step Up Cooperation
Channel News Asia
October 27, 2004
growth is not a zero sum game. It's not a case whereby if one country
gains another must lose. We don't see economic growth as a fixed
pie. We see the pie growing. And the more interaction there can
be between India and countries in Southeast Asia, the better it
will be for Singapore.
Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement between India and Singapore
is likely to be finalised in the next month or so.
The agreement will see the beginning of even closer associations
between India and ASEAN and Indian and South East Asia in the trade
and economics sphere in days to come.
here to read further: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/113845/1/.html
Promotes Idea of Free Trade within East, South Asia
Voice of America News
October 24, 2004
is calling for closer economic integration with the nations of East
Asia. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wants East Asian and
South Asian nations to create an integrated market spanning the
region from the Himalayas to the Pacific Ocean.
Singh's call for closer economic integration in Asia came at the
third business summit between India and the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations, or ASEAN, which was recently held in New Delhi. The
call was echoed by several East Asian countries.
to Mr. Singh, the ASEAN nations, along with China, Japan, South
Korea and India, could create an economic community comprising nearly
half the world's population. It would be larger than the European
Union in terms of income, and bigger than the North American Free
Trade Agreement in terms of trade.
here to read further: http://www.voanews.com/english/2004-10-24-voa10.cfm
Partnership should lead to an Asian Economic Community
and Information Bureau of India
October 21, 2004
Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh affirmed the Government’s commitment
to intensify the process of regional cooperation and integration
between India and ASEAN. Inaugurating the Third India-ASEAN Business
Summit here today, Dr. Manmohan Singh envisioned an Asian Economic
Community, which encompasses ASEAN, China, Japan, Korea and India.
The Prime Minister referred to the Early Harvest Programme, which
provides for immediate tariff concessions through trade liberalisation.
He also underlined the Government’s objective of stepping up the
rate of growth of Indian economy to 7 per cent to 8 per cent over
the next decade and to make efforts to promote such investment and
to create a conducive climate for investors and entrepreneurs. Dr.
Manmohan Singh emphasised the fact that Indian economy could absorb
up to $150 billion of foreign investment in the infrastructure and
invited the ASEAN businesses to invest in India. The Prime Minister
also advised the State Governments to be proactive in developing
mutually beneficial co-operation with the ASEAN region. He also
called upon the Indian business community to invest in South East
ASEAN Secretary General, Mr. Ong Keng Yong, President-elect, CII,
Mr. Y.C. Deveshwar and President, FICCI Mr. Yogendra Kumar Modi
were among the delegates. The following is the text of the inaugural
address made by the Prime Minister:
“I am indeed very happy to have this opportunity to inaugurate the
3rd India-ASEAN Business Summit in our capital city of New Delhi.
I extend a warm welcome to all delegates, especially our friends
from ASEAN countries. I wish you all a fruitful and a very pleasant
stay in India.
Deliberations at the annual India-ASEAN Business Summits have enriched
the deliberations at the Heads of Government level meetings. This
is natural, since today economic and commercial contact increasingly
determines the nature of state to state interactions. The movement
of people, capital, goods and services is playing an increasingly
important role in establishing a framework for governments to define
relations among nations. Therefore it is fair to say that economic
engagement has an impact on political relations between nations.
In this context, I am confident that your deliberations will have
a beneficial and a powerful impact on our deliberations at the India-ASEAN
Summit in Laos next month.
The intensification of India’s relationship with ASEAN is a vital
element of our government’s foreign policy. It is very important
to note that our traditionally friendly relations have now acquired
a multi-dimensional and multi-faceted character. This is the logical
culmination of the process begun in 1992, when India first became
a sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN.
A decade ago we unveiled our “Look East” policy. This is more than
a mere political slogan, or a foreign policy orientation. It has
a strong economic rationale and commercial content. We wish to “Look
East” because of the centuries of interactions between us. This
tradition, and our faith in the principles of democracy and pluralism,
bring all of us together. We also share a desire for a stable, secure
and equitable, new order. The question of achieving stability and
security in our region is also a common factor, particularly as
we collectively face a threat from similar foes, who oppose our
core values. Therefore, as we ‘Look East’ and you ‘Look West’, it
is natural that we look at each other in this enterprise of restoring
to Asia its rightful place in the comity of nations.
Today, India and ASEAN have joined hands on a whole array of issues,
ranging from regional trade and investment cooperation, to interaction
on regional security. Our partnership is expanding to exciting new
fields of science, technology and services. We are finding new ways
to share our experiences and areas of expertise. There is a broad
recognition of the enormous benefits flowing from greater integration
between India and ASEAN.
The encompassing vision of such a closer integration is set out
in the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Co-operation
between India and ASEAN. What was envisaged was the creation of
an India-ASEAN Regional Trade and Investment Area, which would include
a Free Trade Area in goods, services and investment. This is to
be achieved through progressive elimination of tariffs and non-tariff
barriers in substantially all trade in goods, progressive liberalization
of trade in services, with substantial sectoral coverage, and the
establishment of a liberal and competitive investment regime that
facilitates and promotes investment. I would like to take this opportunity
to affirm once again that our Government will intensify the process
of regional cooperation and integration between India and ASEAN.
Integration is a process that is being driven today, both by the
technological revolution that shrinks distances, and by interconnected
population. This is visible in the proliferation of regional co-operation
mechanisms across the globe, including in our own region. Therefore,
it is only inevitable that we seek to take the existing India-ASEAN
relationship to a higher level, where we envision an Asian Economic
Community, which encompasses ASEAN, China, Japan, Korea and India.
Such a community would release enormous creative energies of our
people. One cannot but be captivated by the vision of an integrated
market, spanning the distance from the Himalayas to the Pacific
Ocean, linked by efficient road, rail, air and shipping services.
This community of nations would constitute an “arc of advantage”,
across which there would be large-scale movement of people, capital,
ideas, and creativity. Such a community would be roughly the size
of the European Union in terms of income, and bigger than NAFTA
in terms of trade. It would account for half the world’s population,
and it would hold foreign exchange reserves exceeding those of the
EU and NAFTA put together. This is an idea whose time is fast approaching,
and we must be prepared for it collectively.
In preparing ourselves for this ambitious goal, there is much that
we have already undertaken. We have embarked on projects to interconnect
existing roads and rail links, we are striving to increase flight
services and destinations, to provide multi-modal transportation
linkages and to provide optical-fibre supported communications.
We are attempting to expand our partnership in the new knowledge
economy, which dominates the world, covering areas such as information
technology, communications and biotechnology. These new initiatives
will bring us closer - physically and virtually - and create the
necessary linkages, which will further bind our countries together.
However, we need to find ways of emphasizing the logic of such partnerships
within our own countries. One such example of such an effort is
the India-ASEAN Car Rally, which I hope to flag off next month from
Guwahati. This rally will run through ten countries before finishing
in Indonesia. It will dramatically symbolize the effort to forge
new linkages, while embodying the spirit of our cooperation.
We are working towards completion of FTA negotiations between India
and the ASEAN. A balanced expansion of trade will provide the best
argument for local industries to embrace the potential benefit of
these arrangements. Only if we exhibit pragmatism, flexibility and
courage will India-ASEAN trade relations grow in a manner commensurate
with its vast latent potential. In last year’s business summit,
we have already set ourselves the target of raising our trade to
US $ 15 billion by the year 2005, and to US$30 billion by the year
2007. These are achievable targets, if we focus on commodities,
which show great potential for trade, as some recent studies have
clearly shown. We must ensure that our trade baskets increase qualitatively,
in value terms, and in terms of the diversity of products in the
The first fruits of trade liberalization will be available through
the Early Harvest Programme, which provides for immediate tariff
concessions. This is a confidence building measure and a harbinger
of changes, which will follow in years to come. I sincerely hope
that the chambers of commerce will effectively disseminate information
on the concessions so that trade and industry in our countries,
particularly small and medium enterprises, can take full advantage
of the benefits available under the Scheme.
At the same time, it is essential to recognize that our different
historical experiences, and our differing levels of development
provide us with both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge
of integrating economies at differing levels of development is evident,
but the opportunity of learning from each other’s experiences is
also an investment in our future. We must therefore set ourselves
the target of working with each other for our common, collective
Investment, as I have always said is, in the final analysis, an
act of faith. The growing linkages between India and South East
Asia are signs and symbols that mutual benefit and faith is growing.
But I think it is evident to all that we can certainly do much better
in this regard and we must commit ourselves to that noble goal.
As you know, our Government has set itself the objective of stepping
up the rate of growth of our economy to at least 7 per cent to 8
per cent during the next decade. This acceleration of economic growth
will require a substantial increase in the volume of investment
in our economy, both domestic and foreign. We shall make every effort
to promote such investment and to create a climate conducive for
investors and entrepreneurs to use the productive capacities and
resources of our people.
I recognize that for investments to flow improvements are required
in our physical infrastructure and this area I assure you, will
receive the highest priority of our Government. We have to create
the right environment in which public-private partnerships can thrive,
resulting not only in the efficient use of our resources but also
in the efficient management and running of infrastructural services.
We are now working towards the creation of a regulatory framework
in infrastructure sectors that would be transparent and independent
and which would be based on international best practices.
Our requirements of capital in infrastructure are indeed very large.
The requirements of our airports and railways will alone amount
to over $55 billion in the next ten years. Our power sector needs
$75 billion and the telecom sector $25 billion over the next five
years. We believe the Indian economy can absorb up to $150 billion
of foreign investment in the infrastructure sector over the next
ten years. There is, therefore, a large window of opportunity for
ASEAN businessmen to invest in our country.
Equally, Indian business must invest in South-East Asia. We have
some attractive examples of successful Indian enterprises in the
region. But we need more, especially in the newly industrializing
economies of ASEAN where opportunities for new investment are presenting
themselves. Indian businessmen must be more proactive in exploring
markets and investment opportunities in South-East Asia and to build
long-term durable relationships across the countries of the region.
Our State governments should also be proactive in developing mutually
beneficial cooperation with the ASEAN region. The development of
ports in West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu can
re-build maritime links of the Coromandel Coast with South-East
Asia. While in the North-East, the Central government is committed
to developing the infrastructure of trade and development, there
is much that our State governments can do to promote trade and commerce
with countries of South-East Asia.
It is interesting to note that the eminent maritime historian, Sinnappa
Arasaratnam, recalls in his classic work on “Maritime India” how
“India benefited from the liberal regime that all Indian states
permitted along the coast, and the autonomy they gave to the communities
that dwelt there. This enabled the littoral states to develop in
a fashion complementary to the interior and to function with little
interference from groups that would not have understood the needs
and demands of the predominant activity of commerce.”
There is a lesson in this for all of us today. I would like to affirm
that our government will be committed to policies that enable us
to work more closely and more intimately with our neighbours, and
to support the efforts of State governments in promoting business
to business links between India and South East Asia. It is such
mutually beneficial business links that will, in the final analysis,
give meaning to our “Look East” policy. Moreover, it is this that
will eventually give shape to the idea of an Asian century. With
these words, I wish your deliberations all success.”