20th ASEAN summitCambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Tuesday that ASEAN and its northeast Asian neighbors needed to double “as soon as possible” a regional currency swap mechanism to $240 billion.
His opening address to a two-day summit of ASEAN leaders, the prime minister warned of the “uncertainty of economic crisis which is affecting the world” and the need to prevent the crisis spreading to Asia.
“ASEAN must pay special attention to strengthening the mechanism to ensure financial stability and to cope and deal with the global financial and economic crises when they occur in the region in the future,” he said.
Hun Sen said “the most important instrument” was Chieng Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM), a regional currency swap facility established in 2010 with contributions of $120 billion from China, Japan, Korea and the ten ASEAN members.
“We shall encourage our finance ministers to work closely together and with relevant partners to reach an agreement or concrete commitment by member states for strengthening and doubling this mechanism from $120 billion to $240 billion as soon as possible,” he said.
ASEAN finance ministers met in Phnom Penh last Friday and are scheduled to meet with their Chinese, Japanese and Korean counterparts in Manila