ASEAN+3 vow to further deepen ties over finance, trade

By Xinhua

Kyoto (Japan) : Finance ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN+3) concluded their 10th meeting Saturday afternoon in Kyoto, vowing to further deepen cooperation in the fields of finance and trade. During the meeting, the ministers unanimously agreed in principle that a self-managed reserve pooling arrangement governed by a single contractual agreement is an appropriate form of multilateralisation of the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI), according to the joint statement released after the meeting. The CMI was announced by the ASEAN+3 finance ministers during their May 2000 meeting. The salient features of the Initiative are monitoring of capital flows, regional surveillance, swap network and training of personnel. At Saturday's meeting, the finance ministers recognized the consensus reached as a significant achievement towards an advanced framework of regional liquidity support mechanism. The ministers were pleased to see that the Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA) network has increased to $80 billion, consisting of 16 BSA among 8 countries, and noted the substantial progress made in the activities of the new Taskforce on CMI Multilateralisation, according to the statement. "We instructed the deputies to carry out in-depth studies on the key elements of the multilateralisation of the CMI including surveillance, reserve eligibility, size of commitment, borrowing quota and activation mechanism," the statement said. The 13 ministers also reiterated their commitment to accelerate and deepen structural reforms and implement appropriate macroeconomic policies including domestic demand-driven measures to support sustainable economic growth of the region. The meeting was held in the Japanese ancient capital on the sidelines of the 40th annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank.

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