Opinions < 2004 < June



ASEAN FTA seen leading to Pan Asia Free Trade

Manila Bulletin Online
June 26, 2004 

Creating a China-ASEAN free trade area will prod Japan and South Korea to abandon their protectionist farm policies, ushering in an East Asian single market within 15 years, a top Chinese academic said.

The confident comments underscore Beijing’s determination to force the pace of Asian integration, which it sees as a force for regional peace and stability, despite the distraction of economic problems at home.

In a paper prepared for a forum on ties between China and the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations, researcher Zhang Xiaoji said Japan and South Korea would not join the planned China-ASEAN free trade area (FTA) within the foreseeable future as it would require a wrenching shift in farm policies.

Click here to read further http://www.mb.com.ph/BSNS2004062712755.html



Wen makes 5 proposals for Asian cooperation

English East Day
June 24, 2004 

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Tuesday made five proposals for promoting Asian cooperation in the new century, which he said is "both a grand cause full of hopes and anarduous task placed before us." The five proposals, put forward at the opening ceremony of the third foreign ministers' meeting of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue,are as follows: 

-- Asian countries should adhere to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and safeguard peace and stability in Asia.

Development calls for stability while cooperation cannot be achieved without peace. Asian countries should respect the realityof Asia's diversity, carry forward the tradition of Asian cooperation, treat each other candidly and as equals, settle disputes through dialogue and seek security through cooperation. For those problems left over by history or controversial issues, Asian countries should focus on the larger picture, conduct consultation on an equal footing, and handle them properly through mutual understanding and accommodation. To some of these issues, the principle of "shelving differences and going in for joint development" can be applied.

Click here to read more http://english.eastday.com/epublish/gb/paper1/1310/class000100004/hwz200039.htm



FTAs: An Economic Reality For Multilateral Trade

Chak Mun See
Financial Express
June 22, 2004

By removing import barriers, FTAs would increase trade and investment flows among the partners. Obviously, their impact on local industry will vary depending on whether its products are intended as imp-ort substitutes; but overall, FTAs would act as a catalyst for cost-cutting, greater economic efficiency and better consumer welfare. Hence, FTAs have been accepted under the WTO rules insofar as they allow for the full operation of the principle of comparative advantage and division of labour among the partners.

Click here to read further http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=61904


A Single Asian Currency

Edgardo B. Espiritu
The Manila Times
June16, 2004

AT THE annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank held in Jeju Island in South Korea last month, one of the hot topics was the possibility of, or some would say the planned, movement toward a single Asian currency. One can imagine being able to buy household items in Binondo, or the latest electronic gadgets in Tokyo, or a dinner in Hong Kong, and so on, using the same “Asian Dollar” as the means of payment. Well, this is hardly unimaginable, now that the Europeans are doing it everyday with the Euro. But is Asia now anywhere near the same position as Europe when it went into a single currency system? Is this move toward a single Asian currency going to take place within the next few years or are we going to count decades before seeing any significant progress toward the attainment of this vision? To be able to answer this, we’ll have to look at the kind of preparations needed and prerequisite conditions for this kind of system to work.

Click here to read further http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2004/jun/16/yehey/opinion/20040616opi2.html