Regional Financial Co-Operation

Authored by: Saori N. Katada

Routledge Handbook of Asian Regionalism

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415580540
eBook ISBN: 9780203803608
Adobe ISBN: 9781136634734


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In a region often characterized as full of nationalistic rivalries and averse to institutional commitment, integration optimists argue that East Asia’s regional financial co-operation provides a shining beacon of hope. In the context of ASEAN Plus Three since 1997, the countries have not only established a formal arrangement in the region to provide emergency liquidity to countries in financial distress, but they have also proceeded to nurture the region’s bond market and even discussed regional currency arrangements. Furthermore, these financial co-operation efforts have developed largely excluding the United States, and have had slow but sure impact on the global financial governance. Pessimists would disagree and point to the continuing reliance on IMF emergency funding, the region’s heavy reliance on the US dollar, and the difficulty for the region to agree on an appropriate financial surveillance mechanism. Hence, this implicitly splits the literature on East Asia’s financial co-operation into two normative camps. Moreover, scholars are analyzing a moving target as regional and global financial governance becomes defined and redefined during the last two decades, affected by the two major financial crises. In short, the task of understanding the nature of regional financial co-operation is quite complex.

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