a New Asia: Towards an Asian Economic Community
organized the International Conference on "Building a New Asia:
Towards an Asian Economic Community" on 10-11 March 2003 in
New Delhi. The Conference was organized in collaboration with the
Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) and the Centre for
Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jakarta, with the support
of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation of Japan.
K.C. Pant, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission and Chairman, RIS
delivered the inaugural address at the Conference. Hon'ble Mr. Koichi
Kato, former Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party of
Japan delivered the keynote address. Hon’ble Mr. I.K. Gujral, the
former Prime Minister of India, delivered the valedictory address.
Ambassador S.T. Devare, Vice-Chairman, RIS and Dr Nagesh Kumar,
Director General also addressed the inaugural session. A delegation
of the distinguished conference participants also called on Hon’ble
Mr. Yashwant Sinha, External Affairs Minister of India at his office.
Conference had the participation of about 120 including senior scholars,
experts and policy makers from China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia,
the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand besides India, representing
leading policy think-tanks of the region.
first session on "The Relevance of the Asian Economic Community"
was chaired by Hon'ble Mr Koichi Kato at which
Dr Nagesh Kumar presented the theme paper on the Relevance of the
Asian Economic Community. This presentation was followed by observations
by four distinguished panelists, viz. Ambassador Pang Eng Fong (Singapore),
Dr. K. Govindan (of PM's Department Malaysia), Dr. Yoon Jong Wang
(KIEP, Korea) and Ambassador A.N. Ram (India).
Shashank, Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, India chaired
the second session on "Asian Identity and the Sub-regional
Perspectives". Beginning with a historical perspective on regional
cooperation in Asia, the session also discussed the global financial
architecture and Japan's role in and the perspectives of ASEAN and
China on the regional cooperation. It also discussed the relevance
of India for the Asian economic community.
Muchkund Dubey, Chairman, Council for Social Development, chaired
the third session which had a panel discussion on regional cooperation
in multilateral arrangements especially in agriculture, labour and
fourth session, chaired by Ambassador K. Kesavapany, Director, Institute
of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, addressed the theme of regional
cooperation in finance and monetary policy. Presentations in this
session reviewed the ongoing attempts at financial and monetary
cooperation in Asia, debated the relevance of Asian Bonds, and presented
further proposals of more ambitious regional cooperation conducted
in the framework of a new regional institution, viz. Asian Reserve
fifth session on regional cooperation in trade, investment, technology
and skills was chaired by Dr Mohammad Ariff, Executive Director,
MIER. In this session, besides presentations on economics of East
Asian FTA and relevance of an FTA between India and China, estimates
of gains from regional economic integration in Asia in the framework
of CGE models (by Mr. S.K. Mohanty, RIS), complementarities and
potential of intra-regional transfers of investments, technology
and skills in Asia (by Mr. Saikat Sinha Roy, until recently on RIS
faculty) were also presented.
S.L. Rao, former Chairman, Central Electricity Regulatory Authority,
India chaired the sixth session on corporate governance and financial
restructuring in Asia. The session had presentations on governance
of ASEAN corporations after the crisis, political reforms, governance
and privatization in Indonesia, lessons from the banking crisis
in Japan and its implication for enhancing cooperation in Asia,
and financial restructuring in Korea after the crisis.
the concluding session, chaired by Ambassador S.T. Devare, a general
discussion on the way forward took place. A Delhi Consensus, summarizing
the general agreement at the Conference as well as follow-up action
points, was also adopted. RIS has brought the proceedings of the
Conference in a book form.
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