News

UNCTAD: Asia Needs to Strengthen Banking, Finance Systems 

The chief of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says Asia needs to strengthen regional financial regulations and cooperation to stem the impact from future financial downturns in the global economy. As Ron Corben reports UNCTAD Secretary General Supachai Panitchpakdi calls for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take a leading role to boost regional cooperation and oversight of the finance markets.

Supachai Panitchpakdi, UNCTAD secretary general, says the current global financial crisis provides Asia an opportunity to boost regional cooperation and regulation that could help strengthen banking systems.

Asia's banking industry has undergone significant reforms since the region's financial crisis in the late 1990s when lending excesses led to scores of banks and finance companies closing, millions of jobs lost and a sharp contraction in regional economies.

Supachai says the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) should take the lead in boosting intra-regional cooperation in the banking sector.

"Financial regulation within ASEAN, which could help to shield, to shelter the financial system in Asia, is going to be important - because fortunately this time the system has not been globalized enough to have been affected by the ongoings in the U.S. and EU," he said. "This is the time to be deepening the Asian financial system to set up the pooling of resources.

Regional central banks have poured billions of dollars into credit markets over recent weeks to ease tight credit conditions since the financial crisis erupted in the United States in September. The central banks are also holders of billions of dollars of foreign exchange reserves.

Supachai's comments come as the U.S. House of Representatives Friday is expected to vote again on a revised $700 billion bailout plan after the bill was struck down Monday. The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday for a revised package.

Supachai says the rescue package must be seen only as a first step towards major reform of the U.S. financial system.

"The rescue operation, the relief measure will be just a relief measure," he said. "This is just to prevent the crisis from deepening - it doesn't mean that we've already succeeded in tackling the basic issues. So there needs to be a rethinking of the way that financial institutions have been managed and have been regulated in the United States and I think throughout the world."

Supachai warned that the global economy is likely to face both inflation as well as recession going into the final quarter of 2008. He said governments and central banks need to follow policies promoting economic stability in order to enable the financial crisis to pass.

Share prices across Asia fell Friday in anticipation of the U.S. Labor Department's unemployment report. Investors are eager for unemployment to remain in check because widespread job losses could damp consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the nation's economic activity. The Nikkei 225 index fell almost two percent, while Australia's SandP/ASX 200 index was down one point three percent with Hong Kong's Hang Seng index down over two percent.

 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs