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November 23, 2008

Asean+3 mull setting up monitoring body for finance, economy
The Asean and three East Asian countries including Japan will consider establishing a new body to monitor the financial system and economic policies in the region, reported Reuters, quoting Japanese business daily Nikkei.

Leaders of the Asean countries, Japan, China and South Korea are expected to launch discussions on the possible new body when they meet in Thailand in December, the paper said.

The move is aimed to pre-empt any economic crisis that may arise in the region through surveillance of the member countries' economic, monetary and currency policies.

The organisation may also is function as the secretariat for the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI), an arrangement of mainly bilateral currency swaps, Nikkei said.

The Asian countries agreed last month to expand the currency swap facility, created during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, into a $80 billion multilateral facility to be launched next year.

On the global scale, the International Monetary Fund, an organisation of 185 countries, has been taking up similar task, monitoring economic situations of member countries and lend to countries in balance of payments difficulties.

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