By Yang Xi
Korea, China, Japan and ASEAN countries are set to expedite a previously-established plan to form and administer an US$80 billion fund for use in any Asian financial emergency, said South Korean Deputy Finance Minister Shin Je-yoon yesterday. The US$80 billion program will be the Asian version of the International Monetary Fund.
Finance Ministers from ASEAN as well as China, Japan and South Korea agreed on a regional foreign reserve swap in May. China, Japan and South Korea will contribute US$64 billion, accounting for 80 percent of the pool, while the 10 members of ASEAN will make up the rest, according to South Korea-based JoongAng Daily.
Although detailed plans for fund distribution and a decision-making body have not been worked out, speeding up the discussion for the joint fund will in itself help to relieve public concern about financial markets.
The ASEAN+3 nations are discussing plans for a network of swap arrangements under the Chiang Mai Initiative, which aims at managing short-term liquidity problems within the region. South Korea, China and Japan expect the joint fund to help countries hit by financial crisis.
(China.org.cn October 6, 2008)