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ASEAN+3 rules out India's inclusion

Written by: Staff

Hyderabad, May 4: Ruling out expansion of ASEAN+3 for inclusion of India for the present, S Korea Finance Minister Han Duck-Soo today said ASEAN+3 would try hard for this in the future.

Korean Deputy Prime Minister, who co-chaired the ninth ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers meeting coinciding with the 39th Asian Development Bank Board of Governors' annual meeting, told a press conference here that 'at present, we are rather confining ourselves to more regional financial cooperation among the ASEAN+3 countries'.

'We have asked our deputies to study and explore the scope for further financial cooperation, including regional currency units.

Nothing has been decided to expand its scope. Our Deputies will try hard on the issue in the future', he added.

Speaking after signing a joint-ministerial statement of the Finance Ministers of the ASEAN+3 countries, he described the persistent high oil price as a consistent downslide risk to maintain the economic resilence the group had achieved in recent years.

Crude oil price had doubled from the 2003 level and there was little prospect for its reduction in the near futre, Mr Duck Soo said, and stressed the need for enhancing dialogue between oil producing and consuming countries to improve market information and transparency. Cambodia Finance Minister Keat Chhon, who chaired the meet, said ASEAN+3 ministers shared the view that there were many potential downside risks like persistently high oil prices, widening global imbalances, upward global interest rates trend and potentially adverse effect of the avian flu pandemic.

ASEAN+3 comprised Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam plus China, Japan and South Korea.

It decided to mstrengthen East Asian financial cooperation based on the 'Chiang Mai Initiative,' which aimed at addressing short term liquidity difficulties in the region and supplementing existing international financial arrangements. It also firmed up exploration of strengthening surveillance capacity in East Asia and launching a Group of Experts (GOE) and Technical Working Group on Economic and Financial Monitoring.


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