Opinions < 2004 < August

Monetary Tie-ups Necessary to Avoid Trade Friction in Asia

Anthony Rowley
The Business Times
August 28, 2004

Trade friction may arise among Asian countries unless they take steps to match increasing trade and investment integration with closer cooperation in regional monetary affairs. Intensifying trade cooperation in Asia, especially through regional and bilateral free-trade agreements, would mean that in future even relatively small fluctuations in the now mainly floating exchange rates of the region would have 'disproportionately large impact' on intra-regional trade and investment flows.

Click here to read further http://business-times.asia1.com.sg/story/0,4567,126829,00.html

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Asia Needs a Bonding Experience, And Fast

William Pesek Jr.
August 27, 2004

..It's not hard to draw up a list of events that could slam Asian markets. They include further increases in oil prices, a collapse in the dollar because of ballooning U.S. current account deficits, a big terrorist attack, economic problems in China or aggressive Federal Reserve rate rises.

Well-functioning bond markets linked together would allow Asia to keep more of its vast household savings at home, as opposed to watching it flow to the West. They would lower borrowing costs and offer more creative financing. Also, selling more debt in local currencies could shield Asia from problems on the other side of the globe.

Click here to read further: http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000039&cid=pesek&sid=aZHD7_9__xks

Cooperation A Must in Region

Kim Seok Hwan
JoongAng Daily
August 24, 2004

Japan must break out of the security net that the United States has provided, and China should dispel the concerns of neighboring countries that it is trying to become a hegemonic power. Korea should actively pursue reunification with North Korea and cooperation and reconciliation with its Northeast Asian neighbors. That is the only way the Korean Peninsula and the Korean people will avoid experiencing the scourge of war again and will pacify the rival sentiments of China and Japan over the leadership of the region.

Click here to read further: http://joongangdaily.joins.com/200408/23/200408232223047239900090109012.html

Eastern Comfort, Go for it

The Indian Express
August 24, 2004

There are very sound reasons for developing greater economic integration with our Southeast Asian neighbours.....Promoting free trade and investment with these countries has several advantages. It forces Indian industry to become more competitive. It provides Indians with better quality consumer goods at cheaper rates. It also compels our populist state governments to refrain from measures like free power, largely for the rural rich, by adopting sound economic policies like making electricity available to Indian industry at internationally competitive rates...India should now move ahead in implementing free trade agreements concluded in SAARC and with ASEAN.

Click her to read further http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=53497

Is An Asian Union Possible? 

MV Kamath
August 16, 2004

....An Asian Nations Organisation with a clear conceptual basis could work wonders. It can do what other international bodies like UNESCO, FAO, WTO and ILO have sought to do but on a more positive and meaningful basis. And it will necessarily have to keep out the Great Powers and certainly the one Super Power, the United States. Nations can work towards a common currency....An Asian Union is not only possible, it may soon become a necessity. Perhaps President Kalam will push this idea a little bit more aggressively, so that word will go to all the distant capitals of Asia. What Europe has done, Asia can.

Click here to read further http://newstodaynet.com/guest/1608gu1.htm

When will China and Japan let History be History?

Goh Sui Noi
The Strait Times
August 16, 2004 

...Strategically, China wants a North-east Asia regional security arrangement that includes itself, Japan and South Korea to balance the influence of the United States in the region. In the broader Asia-Pacific region, it is suggested that China and Japan can play the same role that Germany and France play in the European Union, taking the lead to build an Asian community.

Click here to read further http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,4386,266941,00.html

Energy Cooperation Urgent in NEA

Lee Su Hon
The Korea Times
August 15, 2004 

Northeast Asia (NEA) is shrinking. No, this is not a reference to accelerated coastline erosion but a commendation for the progress regional actors are making toward cooperation and integration, gradually narrowing divides that have obstructed regional development for decades. Bilateral and multilateral collaborations among NEA nations  from  Asian-made, open-source computer operating platform development to new multinational security organization participation are evidence of this deepening trend. Numerous ideas have been devised to strengthen economic ties and establish a regional economic community. Some have already been put into practice. Yet the one area most favorable for building cooperative relations among NEA countries but garnering less attention than it deserves is that of energy cooperation.

Click here to read further http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/opinion/200408/kt2004081515562554290.htm

Cooperation crucial for Asia's sustainable economic growth: economist

Xinhua Online
August 11, 2004 

Closer economic integration and enforced self-development strategies are key factors for the sustainable economic growth in Asia, said a Thai economist....Speaking at a panel discussion during the 12th annual conference on Pacific Basin Finance, Economics, Accounting and Business, Thanong said Asia should emulate Europe's post-war experience in moving towards closer economic cooperation. He said the three largest Asian economies, Japan, China and South Korea, should take a lead in the process of economic integration.

Click here to read further http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-08/11/content_1759019.htm

Asian Currency Zone Beckons

Mamoru Ishida
The Japan Times
August 10, 2004

...Asia is practically a dollar zone now, as most Asian countries peg their currencies mainly to the dollar. Japanese companies take yen-to-dollar exchange risks even in trade with Asian countries. They would welcome an Asian currency zone that would result in a more mild fluctuation vis-a-vis the yen. In 1998, then-Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa recommended a basket currency regime to Asian countries. It is natural for Japan to participate. If an unprepared Japan faces the sharp fall of the dollar predicted by Stephen Roach, it will risk experiencing another lost decade.

Click here to read further: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/geted.pl5?eo20040810a1.htm

The Kunming Initiative 

Syed Ishtiaque Reza
The Financial Express, Bangladesh
August 9, 2004 

....The main thrust of the exercise was to convince the governments concerned of improving communications between the southwestern region of China and the northeastern region of India by developing appropriate roads, rails, waterways and air links.
...The discussion focused on the feasibility of cooperation in the economic, trade and technological fields among China (mainly the Yunnan province), India, Bangladesh and Myanmar in the areas of industry, agriculture, tourism and finance. The participants suggested that communication channels and networks be set up between China, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar including the opening and construction of roads, air lines, water routes and railways.

Click here to read further: http://www.financialexpress-bd.com/index3.asp?cnd=8/9/2004&section_id=4&newsid=18450&spcl=no