Asian countries working together have established mechanisms such as the Chiang Mai Initiative to give further support. We believe that this approach is very useful, and are happy to be engaged with it. For our part, the Fund has introduced new instruments and increased the financial resources that it can make available to help all our members deal with future crises.
We also give greater weight in our policy advice to the risks associated with capital movements.
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In Asia this understanding has led to impressive efforts to reform financial sectors, overhaul regulatory and supervisory frameworks, and improve the regimes that govern corporate behavior. We give prominence to governments' own priorities in program design. We support governments by reaching out to civil society.
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And we have streamlined the conditions attached to our lending so that they cover only issues critical to macroeconomic stability and growth. For all the progress of recent years, Asian countries still face a number of challenges: financial globalization, demographic changes, inequality, and continued poverty. Let me now talk about some of these challenges and the new opportunities that come with them.
Asia has already reaped many benefits from globalization, and it now plays a major role in the global economy.
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Asia accounts for about a quarter of GDP and global trade. And the trend is toward an even greater role, as Asian economies, most recently led by China and India, have become engines of growth for the world. Asia's increased weight in the global economy must now be matched with increased rights and responsibilities in the conduct of international economic policy.
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The international community can learn from Asia's successes. So it is important that Asia's voice be heard. Just a few months ago, our Governors, including some of you, took the first step in a process that will increase the representation of emerging market countries, including Asian countries, in the Fund.
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Decisions made in Asian capitals also increasingly have effects elsewhere in Asia and beyond. The increased significance of Asia in the world economy makes it all the more important to design national policies that promote Asia's development, rebalance growth in the region, and support multilateral solutions to global problems.
And we at the IMF, through close engagement with Asia, seek to understand regional and global issues from the Asian perspective. Financial integration among the major Asian economies represents a challenge but also a huge opportunity. Trade integration is already well advanced. Intraregional trade is up by a third since , reflecting in part growing integration of production processes and regional supply chains.
But integration of regional financial markets is only just beginning.
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Asia is not alone in facing this problem: the European Union has a similar mismatch in integration of trade in goods and services and financial integration. And the barriers to integration are also similar in Asia and Europe, especially difficulty in harmonizing laws, regulations, and market infrastructures. I was very pleased to be able to take part in two high-level seminars on financial integration in Asia, the second taking place in Singapore last May. We will continue to work with the region to promote financial integration. About the Author Marcus Noland, executive vice president and director of studies, has been associated with the Institute since From through , he served as the Institute's deputy director.
Asia Future Shock: Business Crisis and Opportunity in the Coming Years by Backman, Michael
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