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Asean

Asean to double funding under the Chiang Mai Initiative

This is widely expected to culminate in a massive doubling of funds under the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) to $240 billion from $120 billion. The CMIM – a multilateral currency swap system – was established in 2002 in response to the 1997/98 financial crisis that close to bankrupted much of the region. Back then, there was no shortage of bankers telling Southeast Asia to get its house in order.

Boris Sullivan

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Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told the 20th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Phnom Penh that his country’s chief priority for its year as hosts was the strengthening of mechanisms to ensure regional financial security.

This is widely expected to culminate in a massive doubling of funds under the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) to $240 billion from $120 billion. The CMIM – a multilateral currency swap system – was established in 2002 in response to the 1997/98 financial crisis that close to bankrupted much of the region. Back then, there was no shortage of bankers telling Southeast Asia to get its house in order.

Now, politicians here are winning back-slapping applause for telling the Europeans and the Americans that now it’s their turn to put things right. In the lead-up to the summit, central bankers from ASEAN+3, which includes China, Japan and South Korea, agreed in principle to doubling the size of the CMIM. ASEAN Beefs up Financial Security | ASEAN Beat

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Asean

The Latest on Covid-19 in Southeast Asia

Thailand has largely avoided widespread community transmission of Covid-19, but the kingdom is not faring well on the economic front, with a projected contraction of 7.1 percent this year.

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Coronavirus Asia

As a region, Southeast Asia has fared relatively well in keeping coronavirus cases low, with the notable exceptions of the Philippines and Indonesia.

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Laos

China’s debt-trap diplomacy: Laos’ credit rating downgraded to CCC

Laos’ debt challenge is deeply concerning, with some media commentators suggesting the country is falling into a debt trap as a result of Chinese infrastructure investments connected to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

Boris Sullivan

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On 23 September, the Fitch Ratings agency downgraded Laos’ credit rating to CCC — the second downgrade in 2020, having dropped to B- in May.

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Vietnam

Foreign capital still heads to Vietnam

As many as 798 projects added a combined over 5.11 billion USD to their investment capital, down 23 percent year-on-year in project number but up 6.8 percent in value.

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Hanoi (VNA) – The total amount of foreign investment poured into Vietnam this year to September 20 reached 21.2 billion USD, equivalent to 81.8 percent of the same period last year, reported the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

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