Regional Responses To The Southeast Asian Economic Crisis: A Case Of Self-Help Or No Help?
The currency crises of the 1990s, particularly the one that hit Southeast Asia since the devaluation of the Thai baht on July 2, 1997, are suggestive of the relevance and pervasiveness of contagion or negative spillover effects that are largely regional in scope. As such, one of the mantras since the onset of the Southeast Asian economic crisis has been the need for â€œregional solutions to regional problemsâ€. Given that the two focal institutions in Southeast Asia, viz. the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) were perceived as being successful in their past attempts in problem-solving, there were high expectations that such regionalism would be key in finding solutions to the Southeast Asian economic crisis and mitigating the after-shocks. Accordingly, this paper evaluates the regional responses to the crisis, taking stock of both preventive and curative initiatives of significance. While the focus is on ASEAN and APEC, consistent with the concept of â€˜looseâ€™ or â€˜non-institutionalisedâ€™ regionalism in Southeast Asia and the larger Asia-Pacific region, other ad hoc unilateral or bilateral initiatives of significance by other Asian member countries in APEC are also examined, particularly those by the regionâ€™s dominant economic power, Japan. [Working Paper No. 8]
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