In March, finance ministers from the South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) postponed plans to create an Asian Monetary Fund after pressure from the IMF and the US government. However, ministers agreed to conduct a study on the modalities for a regional financing mechanism and will discuss the proposal again later in the year. Ministers did agree to establish a currency swap arrangement.
A Singaporean banker said ‘the west, and the IMF in particular, is worried about losing influence and leverage in the region if an AMF is established,’ reported The Guardian (March 27th). ‘They want to be able to continue to dictate to governments over how to handle monetary crises,’ he added. Focus on the Global South concurred that “Washington continues to oppose the creation of any institution that would involve either a weakening of US influence over the economies in the region or supplant the role of the IMF”
see: Focus on Trade #50 www.focusweb.org