2005, MAS and the IMF jointly hosted a high-level
seminar on regional financial integration. Finance
ministers, central bank governors and senior officials
from the Asian region as well as from the IMF and
the Asian Development Bank, participated in the
There was strong consensus that financial integration
in Asia needed to catch up with real sector integration.
At the same time, participants felt that the region
should focus on capacity building aimed at strengthening
supervisory capacities and domestic financial systems.
This would involve training the personnel who are
essential to making financial markets work well.
Above all, delegates agreed that all economies
had to remain outward-looking and connected to
the multilateral global system in order to enhance
As a testimony to the success of the seminar,
the governors and ministers met again in May 2006.
At the second high level seminar, participants
acknowledged the need to further advance regional
financial integration in order to channel Asian
savings more efficiently to investment projects
in the region. On the issue of greater monetary
cooperation, participants discussed prospects for
a common regional currency framework. They agreed
that there were increasing commonalities in their
respective monetary policy frameworks. However,
they also noted the merits in preserving exchange
rate flexibility to better accommodate cross-border
flows of funds.
The discussions on issues raised at the seminar
will continue at the IMF and World Bank (WB) annual
meetings to be held in Singapore this September.