PH to push for Asean integration plans in ADB meet

By: Michelle V. Remo, April 25th, 2012 11:56 PM

The Philippines will push for the speedy implementation of plans to integrate the financial systems of and strengthen ties among Southeast Asian countries during the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank in the country on May 2 to 5.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said that this year’s annual meeting of ADB member-countries would be an opportunity for Southeast Asian countries to discuss means to improve their resilience given the lingering ill effects of unfavorable economic events  outside the region.

Being a host to this year’s convention, the Philippines deems it proper to take the lead in discussing issues that will help emerging Asian markets in responding to global shocks.

“It’s an opportunity for  Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] countries to discuss how we can further intensify regional cooperation given the challenges brought about by what is happening in Europe and the rest of the world,” Tetangco said.

Under the financial integration plan of Asean-member countries, their financial systems will be linked to facilitate more economic activities within the region and, thereby, accelerate their growth.

Economic officials said that with better economic-growth opportunities in the region, member-countries would no longer have to rely heavily on countries outside the region. Having more growth opportunities within Southeast Asia will help member-countries develop their economies even if Western industrialized countries were having problems.

The United States and the eurozone are major export markets for goods produced by the Philippines and other emerging Asian countries. However, demand from these areas has been falling due to their economic problems.

There the financial integration plan of Asean is aimed at integrating member-countries’ capital markets, financial services, and payments and settlements systems.

Capital market integration will allow cross-country listing of equities and provide easier means to buy and sell foreign portfolio instruments.

Financial services integration will allow banks based in one country to put up branches more easily in another country. These banks will have to adhere to uniform capitalization and regulatory standards.

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