The head of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) says he does not expect the dollar to fall this year because there will be good growth in the U.S. economy. Haruhiko Kuroda, on the sidelines of the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, also endorsed the organization's plans for greater regional economic integration. Douglas Bakshian reports from the summit in Cebu.
ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda says he expects the U.S. economy to grow by 2.5 percent this year, which will bolster the dollar.

"I do not expect a dollar fall this year," he said.  "You are arguing that the dollar would fall soon or in the immediate future. Then I disagree because given the strong continued economic growth in the United States. Given a very stable, resilient financial market in the United States, then I don't see an immediate dollar fall."

The dollar was weak for most of last year, and many Asian currencies rose against it.   Market investors had expected the dollar to continue to fall, but recent upbeat economic reports and lower oil prices have bolstered it.

Kuroda, who was speaking at the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the Philippines, also said prospects for the group's economic integration are good. The ASEAN leaders want to move to create a free-trade zone by 2015.

However, Kuroda said the goal of a single ASEAN currency was still years away. He said establishing an ASEAN currency, similar to the euro, would be a big political challenge to the region.

Kuroda gave a positive outlook for economic growth in Thailand this year despite recent steps there to limit short-term inflows of capital.  But he warned that large capital inflows into open developing economies is a matter of international concern.

"This is a regional, global issue, and how to manage excessive, sometimes speculative, capital inflows is a very delicate and difficult issue," he added.

He predicted four or five percent growth for Thailand this year.

On China, Asia's largest developing economy, the ADB chief said he expected 9.5 percent growth, a bit slower than last year.