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Forum calls for Northeast Asian financial cooperation
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Experts from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) on Monday called for closer cooperation on trade and finance among their nations to improve the world financial system.

The experts' panel raised the proposal here at the Northeast Asia Trilateral Forum.

They said China, Japan and the ROK were all concerned about the instability of the U.S. dollar in the international monetary system, which was harmful to all three nations.

They also proposed research into a regional monetary unit, saying the forum hoped for an early agreement on the share of each currency in such a unit for purposes of surveillance or transactions.

The three countries should advocate early issuance by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) of regional monetary unit bonds to spur moves toward using such a new currency in the region.

They urged the early conclusion of a free trade agreement, in a bid to further nurture a sense of community and accelerate regional integration, and the eventual combination of such a pact with the trade agreement of the Association of Southeast Asian nations.

Proposals put forward by the experts also included an annual meeting of heads of state to discuss economic and financial issues, establishment of a joint environmental fund within the ADB and the early establishment of a formal reserve pool.

The third session of the Northeast Asia Trilateral Forum drew more than 30 prominent figures from all walks of life in China, Japan and the ROK, including former Chinese Vice Premier Qian Qichen, former Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro, and former ROK Prime Minister Lee Hong-koo.

The forum, initiated by China's Xinhua News Agency, Japan's Nikkei news group and the ROK's JoongAng Ilbo, was aimed at promoting non-governmental exchanges among the three nations.

The first two sessions of the forum were held in Seoul in February 2006 and Tokyo in April 2007.

(Xinhua News Agency April 29, 2008)

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