Opinions < 2004 < May 

Trilateral axis a win-win deal

Feng Zhaokui
China Daily
May 26, 2004 

Different economic scales and strong economic complementarity indicate China, Japan and India can realize a win-win result in developing and consolidating strategic co-operation. To maintain a safe petroleum passage through the Indian Ocean, which undoubtedly bears great strategic significance to the three most influential Asian powers, also requires close co-ordination and co-operation between them.In my opinion, promoting strategic co-operation between the three Asian powers not only serves as an important topic, but a brilliant prospect that needs long-time.

Click here to read further http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-05/26/content_333821.htm


It's Time to Recreate the Asian Success Story

Monirul Haq
Financial Express, Bangladesh
May 28, 2004

It is high time that Asian countries come together to build upon one anther's strength 'to recreate the Asian success story', but this time on a truly region-wide basis, said the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand. Elaborating, the suave and popular head of the government expressed his conviction that tile Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) "will ultimately transform the Asian continent into an Asian community, capable of interacting with the rest of the world on a more equal footing and contributing more positively towards mutual peace and prosperity." The Thai leader also observed in unequivocal terms that "the 22 ACD participating countries are the force and most important asset that allows the forum to position itself as a truly Asia-wide cooperation framework, and has created a unified image of Asian nations, which have long been divided into various sub-regional groups." On security of the world especially Asia, the dynamic Thai Prime Minister attaches much importance to ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and considers it the only consultative forum on political and security issues in the Asia-Pacific region, which has expanded cooperation in response to new challenges to regional peace and stability arid now working to address issues such as terrorism, transitional crimes an the, Korean peninsula crisis.
Thailand has initiated a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with Bangladesh expecting Bangladesh to sign the agreement soon under BIMST-EC framework, stated Thaksin Shinawarta, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, in an exclusive interview with the editor, Economic Times, during his recent visit to Bangkok.

Click here to read further http://www.financialexpress-bd.com/index3.asp?cnd=5/28/2004&section_id=3&newsid=11021&spcl=no



Asia Needs the Freedom of Its Own Monetary Fund

Martin Wolf
Financial Times
May 19, 2004

It makes no sense for a region with huge current account surpluses and foreign currency reserves to be so desperate to avoid international financial crises. The US should fee; vulnerable instead. A step towards reducing the regionís perceived vulnerability would be to create a large Asian Monetary Fund. Armed with this insurance, Asian countries could allow their exchange rates to appreciate, generate greater internal demand and then run current account deficits. This would generate global balance of payment adjustment. Moreover, if Asians do wish to lend money generously, why not benefit their own people rather than Americans?

To read further, visit www.ft.com 



Bilateral cooperation among China, Japan and India more realistic

People's Daily
Liu Xuecheng
People's Daily Online

When answering journalist's questions at the Boao Forum for Asia, President Hu Jintao explicitly pointed out that in the process of Asian cooperation, Asian countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are all equal participants and beneficiaries. What we pursue is a win-win situation. Big nations ought to contribute more and undertake bigger responsibilities. Small and medium-sized counties have always felt resentful and disappointed at the big-power club and so have been keeping away from it. To imbue cooperative organizations in the Asian region, it is imperative to give full expression to equal right of participation, equal right of decision-making and equal right of enjoying benefit, and to take win-win result as the goal.

Clock here to read further http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200405/14/eng20040514_143304.html



ADB Focuses on Asian Integration 

Kim Jae-kyoung and Peter Strydom
The Korea Times
May 14, 2004 

Poverty reduction and financial integration in Asia will top the agenda and the ADB said in a statement on Friday that halving extreme poverty and hunger in Asia by 2015 would be a focus of the meeting. During the gathering, which will be Korea's second opportunity to host this prestigious gathering in 34 years, Asian ministers and central bankers are expected to discuss other important issues, such as a euro-style single currency for East Asia, capital market development, corporate restructuring, challenges of infrastructure financing and the role of domestic credit rating agencies in Asia.

ADB President Tadao Chino said yesterday that regional integration is a key element supporting the international bank's goal of reducing poverty and tackling problems hampering Asia's economic growth.``Asian nations are taking steps to raise economic cooperation and integration in the monetary and financial areas to new levels", Chino added.

He pointed out that the Asian financial crisis had some positive impact too, as it forced East Asia to launch various far-reaching initiatives in order to build greater resilience to external shocks. One of the outcomes of these moves has been the development of a more advanced Asian bond market.

Click here to read further http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/biz/200405/kt2004051418112211870.htm



Asia Lagging in Regional Trade Agreements

Chang Se-moon
The Korea Times
May14, 2004

...There is one overriding question that needs to be considered first before answering the big question and that may play an important role in formulating policies by the leaders of the Asian economies. The question is: What will be the long-term effect of NAFTA or FTAA (free trade area of the Americas) and the expanding EU have on Asian nations that are still struggling to identify an optimal trade area that can be the basis of organizing a truly free trade area of the Asian economies?

Click here to read further http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/special/200405/kt2004051414184211490.htm


What's Next as ASEAN+3 Integrate?

Yoshihiro Iwasaki
The Japan Times
May 12, 2004

As we watch with interest the expansion of the European Union, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Three (China, South Korea and Japan) continues to make its own progress toward regional economic integration. Needless to say, there is a long way to go. But the question is no longer whether the region should integrate, but rather when, how quickly and in what areas. It has been nearly seven years since a financial crisis struck the region. Despite a rapid recovery, momentum toward increased integration has never been stronger. The Asian crisis provided impetus to address major structural weaknesses in regional economies -- especially in the financial and corporate sectors. It also prompted economies in the region to take historic initiatives in regional monetary and financial integration to enhance resilience to external shocks. And clearly the region intends to move forward in this direction. ASEAN+3's post crisis initiatives thus far fall into three broad categories: The first consists of peer review and policy dialogues under the ASEAN+3 Informal Policy Dialogue. The second consists of more technical and substantive actions -- such as currency-reserve sharing under the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI). Finally, in the area of capital-market development, we have the Asian Bond Market Initiative.

The key issue now is how to sequence the next steps in integration:

Click here to read further http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?eo20040512a1.htm



Is Single East Asian Currency a Pipe Dream?

Andy Mukherjee
Bloomberg News
May 11, 2004

If Asian policy makers have a grand vision, it is that someday people from Japan and China to Malaysia and Myanmar will pay for groceries using the same currency. .The idea of a single East Asian currency will be debated this week at the Asian Development Bank's annual meeting in the South Korean resort island of Jeju, where a European Central Bank board member, Tommaso Padoa -Schioppa, will share with Asian finance ministers "lessons" from a 50-year journey that has led to 12 European nations sharing the euro. .Should the countries of East Asia aim for their own "Asian dollar"?

Click here to read further http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000039&cid=mukherjee&sid=a82sb1NE8.Y8

Asian Highway to put regional trade in top gear

G. Srinivasan
The Hindu Business Line
May 7, 2004

THE Intergovernmental Agreement signed by the 32 Asian countries including India belonging to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) in Shanghai, China towards the end of last month for the formal launch of the Asian Highway (AH) road network covering a total length of over 1,40,000 kilometres marks the watershed in the annals of transport development in Asia.

The Commerce Secretary, Mr Dipak Chatterjee, who signed on behalf of India at the ESCAP Conference described the imprimatur to the AH network as a landmark event. The AH is a regional network of major international roads spanning the Asian continent.

Click here to read further http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2004/05/08/stories/2004050800460500.htm