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ASEAN’s finance ministers in capital

ASEAN’s finance ministers in capital

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The 16th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting kicks off early today in Phnom Penh, where members of the 10-country association are expected to discuss strengthening regional financial ties and co-operation in the face of economic uncertainty in the West.

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During the four-day meeting, ASEAN finance ministers will meet with the heads of regional central banks, and government officials will meet with the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank, according to an official schedule.

Representatives from Japan, Korea and China – so-called ASEAN+3 members – will also take part in the discussion.

A meeting agenda was not available, but experts said the talks would focus on financial services, regional investment and currency swaps.

“This is a particularly important meeting for the ASEAN finance ministers as they consider strategies to promote ASEAN financial services liberalisation,” Larry Strange, executive director of the Cambodia Development Research Institute, said yesterday.

Cambodia ranked third in preparedness for “ASEAN integration”, an attempt by 2015 to bring the 10 nations’ financial and transportation sectors on par with one another, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in mid-February.

Intra-ASEAN investment during a time of economic tribulation in the US and Europe would also be on the meeting agenda, Strange said, as would strengthening a regional currency swap known as the Chiang Mai Initiative.

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Weinland at [email protected]

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