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M'sia Will Chip In US$3.5 Bln For Chiang Mai Initiative

PHUKET, Feb 22 (Bernama) — Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore will each contribute US$3.5 billion for the Multilateralised Chiang Mai Initiative (CMIM) which has been increased from the initially agreed US$80 billion to US$120 billion.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Asean five had adopted the principle of equal contribution while Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Brunei would chip in according to their affordability.

“This is as stand-by credit arrangement which we should manage ourselves. If any member state needs, only then it will be activated as a loan,” Najib, who is also Finance Minister, told Malaysian journalists covering the Special Asean+3 Finance Ministers’ Meeting in this tourist island here Sunday.

Najib said Asean finance ministers and their counterparts from China, Japan and South Korea had agreed to increase CMIM’s fund size to US$120 billion which would be operational after the Asean Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Bali in early May.

Najib said: “This means Asean and its three dialogue partners agree that we will face a very serious world economic crisis and therefore Asean needs to determine what is the response to tackle the worsening situation.”

He said the decision on CMIM also reflected the finance ministers’ commitment to do so and they also agreed that measures taken previously such as the fiscal stimulus packages were the move.

“We should also determine close coordination and for us to send a clear signal that the world should not slip into a nationalism economic situation or whatever form of free trade system which is the best method to revive the economic situation,” he said.

CMIM was established in 2000 to help Asean members faced with cash flow problems and to supplement the existing financial arrangements.

Najib said recommendations from this meeting would be brought to the attention of the G-20 Meeting in London in April by Indonesia as a member of the grouping.

Thailand has been invited in its capacity as the current Asean Chair.

“We want to stress upon the G-20 countries that reforms to the world financial system and international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank must be done now to determine a fairer voice for the emerging economies,” he added.

Source : Bernama

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