Mercury with an Asian face

True, the countries of the Association and are not going to refuse to cooperate with the other pillars of the regional economy. Along with making a decision on the inclusion of China in the ASEAN Free Trade Area leaders of the Association held a "separate" negotiations with Japan and South Korea for closer integration.

It is obvious that the interests of Japan here - Disclosures "corridors" in the western and eastern parts of Indochina, not to help the construction of a railway linking South East Asia to the southern part of China.

These comments came ahead of a meeting of Prime Minister Koitszumi with ASEAN leaders. Tokyo has already announced that Japan will support projects for road and offer help to develop industries along the "East-West" on-line Maulamyaing Mukdahan-Danang, which runs through Burma, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

Another leader of the "rides"

Curiously, the ASEAN countries in recent years are seeking a leader for his "sleigh." Two years ago, such a leader trying to make the so-called members trans-Tasmanian Zone Closer Economic Relations - Australia and New Zealand. At the Annual Meeting of ASEAN Economic Ministers, held in early October 2000 in northern Thailand, the key issue was to study problems "closer economic partnership» (Closer Economic Partnership, CEP) among ASEAN countries, on the one hand, and Australia and New Zealand - on the other. Then the ministers discussed the report of the specialized group, which recommended the establishment of tariff-free zones on the basis of the merger ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and trans-Tasmanian Area Closer Economic Relations "at the earliest date, to the extent possible."

A report by the group, argued that the creation of a free trade area is not only possible, but desirable, as a result will be a single market for more than 530 million people, which will lead to the production of additional gross income of $ 48 billion by 2020 .

According to calculations of the Australian Center for International Economics, the provision of free trade relations between ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand would be beneficial to all participants. Economic dividends in 2025 for ASEAN as a whole will be $ 9.8 billion for Australia - $ 5.3 billion for New Zealand - $ 1 billion, taking into account that under the current structure of trade ties of the free zone concerned only 0.1% of GNP to unite the country. If the connection to the power of China and Japan, dividends can grow several times. Because of the challenging behavior of Australian Prime Minister John Howard in relation nearest neighbors and their response to such behavior, especially from the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, Australia in 2000, has become involved in the integration process of ASEAN. In the near future, the prospect of its introduction into the regional context is questionable.

The Association of South-East Asia has rejected a proposal to establish a free trade area with Australia and New Zealand, which would have a combined GDP of $ 1 trillion. The question of the merger was made c agenda after three leading members of ASEAN - Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines - have refused to negotiate. First of all, because of dissatisfaction with regular attempts to Australian leadership to intervene in their internal affairs.

Trojan horse of course

Curiously, the U.S. decided to go to the ASEAN Free Trade Area with the "reverse", using as a Trojan horse, Singapore. The two countries agreed on a free trade on a bilateral basis, and then in April of this year to join the agreement, it was suggested to other countries in South-East Asia.

The first step in the implementation of this approach will be to develop joint efforts of the Indonesian island of Bintan, with a focus on information technology. It is assumed that the experience of this pilot project will be extended to other parts of Indonesia and Southeast Asia. However, the practicality of such a trick is in serious doubt.

First, the U.S. introduced stricter requirements for customs, labor rates and that it was not satisfied with the Southeast Asian countries and is perceived as a dictatorship. Secondly, the same thing has tried to do two years ago in Australia with New Zealand, as an agreement on free trade with Singapore, which does not prevent them, as mentioned above, fall with his proposal of the regional bloc. Convened on April 6-7 this year, ASEAN finance ministers' meeting is the next step in determining the future of a free trade area in the region. Last year's summit in Brunei ministers were asked to evaluate the compatibility of the various economic sectors, including financial. In fact, ministers must make a "motion map" to the new trading bloc. To date, the finished project in insurance, capital market development, liberalization of financial services, monitoring and tracking of financial flows.

The most serious attention to the so-called Chanmayskoy initiative, proposed to unite the international reserves of the ASEAN countries with reserves of China, South Korea and Japan, in the event of a new crisis to have more resources available. By the way, at the end of March, Japan and China have agreed to exchange the yuan-yen, which implies the obligation of each party in the event of a speculative attack the currency partner to support its currency by up to $ 3 billion.

So, work on a new regional trading bloc started. Its economic potential is not in doubt. It is not surprising that the lead in these terms tend grandees of the world economy. East Asian countries also clearly aware of the need for closer economic integration in order to secure future prosperity.