Single currency not in ASEAN Summit agenda

Single currency would not be a topic at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit meetings, an official said on Wednesday in Cebu.

"Monetary integration is not on the table," Philippine Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Louie Cruz told a press conference at the Cebu International Convention Center, one of the major meeting venues for the 12th ASEAN Summit.

Instead, the ASEAN leaders would likely discuss more extensively ways and means to boost regional economies through the free trade zones scheme, according to Cruz, who added that the agenda of the leaders meeting include social-cultural, anti- terrorism, and economic concerns.

"There would be economic agreements to support previous agreements on the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement or AFTA", he said.

Ambassador Victorino Lecaros, spokesman of the Summit, also said it is impossible at this time for the ASEAN member states to adopt a common currency system as there are several concerns derived from political and economic diversity that must be addressed before the ambitious proposal could take off.

The idea of a single currency for the ASEAN was first raised during the Hanoi Action Plan in 1997 when the region was reeling from a financial crisis.

Established in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia. Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Source: Xinhua



People's Daily Online --- http://english.people.com.cn/