Asian Monetary Fund Revival Gains Support

Manila Bulletin, January 27, 2002 | Go to article overview

Asian Monetary Fund Revival Gains Support


The economic managers of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration favor the establishment of the $100 billion Asian Monetary Fund (AMF), a proposal by Japan in 1997 but is being revived by House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. due to the global financial uncertainty.

I totally support the call of the House Speaker since almost two-thirds of the dollar reserves in the world is lodged in Asia, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Rafael B. Buenaventura said.

Combined dollar reserves of the economies in the region stood at roughly $1.3 trillion.

Japan, according to Buenaventura, would be a natural leader for the AMF it is not only the anchor economy in the region but it represents an important segment in the internal community as well as a largest source of concessional official development assistance (ODA).

Japan may have its own domestic problems but it still has the international stature and it continues to be the highest ODA donor, Buenaventura said.

The BSP Chief believed that an AMF would be better ran by a major economy belonging to the region, particularly on surveillance among each members.

When you are judged by your peers, you expect to toe the line. The beauty of this is other countries in Asia can exert moral suasion, Buenaventura added.

Finance Secretary Jose Isidro N. Camacho joined the fray, saying that setting up a self-help mechanism for region would be an effective tool in warding-off any re-occurrence of a financial crisis in the 1997 magnitude.

Speaking before the members of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) last Thursday, De Venecia underscored the importance of establishing an AMF, particularly since the spillover effects of the terrorists attack in the US last year still linger.

De Venecia, in fact, urged Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to take the lead in the establishment of the AMF, citing that the idea was first floated and initiated by the Japanese government in August 1997, two months after the regional financial crisis erupted, which crippled most of the emerging economies. …

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