Abstract

The East Asian financial crisis was the impetus for many financial cooperation initiatives within the region. This paper reviews progress in a number of areas, particularly the Chiang Mai Initiative, which aims to enhance a country's access to foreign reserves in times of stress via a series of swap arrangements in the region, and the development of the Asian Bond Market in order to increase long-term financing for deficit countries so they will not have to rely mainly on short-term foreign borrowing, as was the case prior to the crisis. A number of recommendations are made, including the setting up of a regional organization to coordinate a multilateral version of the Chiang Mai Initiative and further development of the regional currency and bond markets to increase the private sector's access to long-term financing. Given the region's huge holding of foreign reserves, the paper also recommends a much more proactive approach in managing these reserves in order to influence global financial developments.

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