Opinions < 2004 < March



World Needs to Change Its Financial Architecture

David E. Sumual, Analyst, Danareksa Research Institute, Jakarta
The Jakarta Post
March 31, 2004  

However, terrorism and increased violence are not the only factors to blame for the turbulent financial markets and heightened world economic risk. Apart from security concerns, the large imbalance in the world's financial architecture also poses a risk. As there are no clear rules as to how financial systems should be adjusted if such an imbalance arises, the global financial architecture is in urgent need of reform. Given the current global financial architecture, the world's interlinked economies no longer trade to capture a comparative advantage. Instead, the world, especially East Asian economies, compete in exports to acquire much-needed dollars to sustain the exchange value of their domestic currencies or to service their dollar-denominated debts.  

(Click here to read the full Article : http://www.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20040331.E02)




Realising Regional Integration

Zhang Yunling, China Daily
March 29, 2004

There has been eye-catching progress in regional co-operation in East Asia. Regional integration, an inevitable trend in the world, is led by the European Union (EU) with its common market, single currency and expanding number of members. The North American Free Trade Area has been established in North America. Negotiations on expanding the Free Trade Area (FTA) to Central America have been concluded and negotiations on expanding the FTA to South America is also in the plans. Other areas such as Africa and South Asia are also making great efforts to promote their own regional co-operation. China's participation in and promotion of regional co-operation in East Asia is in its own best interests. Geographically, East Asia consists of the five Northeast Asian nations and 10 Southeast Asian nations with a total population of 1.7 billion and US$7,000 billion in gross domestic product (calculated at the current exchange rate).  

(Click here to read the full Article : http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-03/29/content_318800.htm)




Overlapping RIAs: Challenges Galore

Opinion in Lead, Proact Newsletter
March 2004

 Two developments that took place within the first two months of 2004 hold much significance for South Asia. The first is the signing of the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) by the seven member states of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) during its twelfth summit in Islamabad, Pakistan. The second is the entry of Nepal and Bhutan into the Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation (BIMST-EC) in its recent ministerial meet at Phuket, Thailand and the subsequent approval of a free trade area (FTA) accord (Bangladesh is yet to sign the BIMST-EC FTA).   

Click here to read the full Article : http://www.sawtee.org/PROACT_E-newsletter_Mar_04.html



Japan Looks at India

Suvendrini Kakuchi, The Asia Times
March 5, 2004

 After years of pushing India to the sidelines, Japan is changing its tune and actively courting the world's largest democracy, lured by its growing international economic and political prowess.
"The old image of India as a poverty-stricken country is no more. Japan has begun to view India as a place with huge investment and manufacturing potential," said Satoshi Matsuki, a specialist on India at Japan's Foreign Ministry.
Indeed, the Foreign Ministry announced last month a new research program called "India, a Strategic Global Partner", under which improvements will be also be made in Japanese development assistance to India. Japanese aid to India in 2002 reached US$112 million, making the country the next-highest recipient after China.

Click here to read the full Article :http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/FC05Dh01.html 


Free Trade Deals Key to Reforming Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun Online
March 14, 2003

Japan is about to conclude economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with several countries. The country signed its first EPA with Singapore in 2002 and has been holding separate negotiations with Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia. Clearly, the public is gradually recognizing the importance of EPAs, but many people still appear unfamiliar with the concept--not to speak of their purpose and impact.  

(Click here to read the full Article :http://newsonjapan.com/cgibin/news/link.cgi?ID=49873)