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ADB calls for closer cooperation to reduce financial risks in Asia
( 2003-11-03 09:48) (Xinhua)

Regional and financial cooperation should be strengthened to reduce the risk of another Asian financial crisis, a senior Asian Development Bank (ADB) official said here Sunday.

"The Asian financial crisis starting in 1997 revealed profound linkages between the abstractions of the financial world and the realities of daily life for hundreds of millions of people," said ADB Vice President Joseph Eichenberger in an interview with Xinhua on the sideline of the second annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia.

The crisis confirmed that the notion of insulated economies in a global system was no more true for Asia than for any other regions, he said.

Although real progress has been made in transforming Asia's financial market, the region still faces many challenges, he said, citing large non-performing loans and ineffective regulatory and supervisory work in some countries.

To meet the challenges, the Asian countries should deepen integration and build a credible mechanism for crisis avoidance and response, he said.

"First, accurate, high-quality and timely information is essential on macroeconomic developments and capital flows of all kinds," he said.

There must be a sound mechanism for effective surveillance, including early warning diagnostic capacity and for high-level consultations, he noted.

"And there must be a standing capacity to mobilize resources rapidly on the basis of agreed criteria and objectives, and on a sufficient scale to achieve results," he said.

He said that ADB, as a reliable and objective provider of analytical system, can play a constructive role in Asia's financial cooperation.

"In the coming days, we will be publishing a volume of study that will specifically focus on this. ADB can contribute to a very focused intellectual discussion about what the options are," he said.

However, he noted that it is up to the Asian countries themselves to decide how they will proceed with the challenge of deeper financial integration.

"China can also play an very important role in this regard, as its trade flows are expanding rapidly, and its financial cooperation with the rest of the world also expanding," Eichenberger said.

"Building for the future is always a work in progress. The dramatic changes here in Boao since just last year are vivid testimony to that," said the vice president.

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