The Global Financial Crisis of the late 2000s has resulted in a global recession and market fluctuations equalled only by the Great Depression of the 1930s and market stagnation of the 1970s. The effects of the crisis have been widespread and prolonged, indicating the highly integrated and interdependent nature of the global economy. The impact of the crisis has also however been differentiated between different world regions. In the EU, the financial crisis has triggered a sovereign debt crisis that impacts the stability of the single currency, while in Asia the crisis has had a lesser impact with emerging economies demonstrating a much greater capacity for recovery.
Many commentators have called for greater and more effective global financial and economic governance through more integration not less. This project responded to such calls in examining “The Impact of the Crisis on Regional Economic and Financial Integration in Asia and Europe”. This involved a future-orientated workshop with the aim of consulting experts and providing concrete outcomes reinforced through a research agenda by the project partners. By adopting a comparative approach, the project aimed to maximise the valuable lessons to be shared between Asia and Europe with regard to regulation and coping mechanisms that could alleviate future shocks. Specific focus was given to future coping mechanisms in both regions and globally up to 2030.
The workshop used a foresight strategy methodology, integrating expertise from different fields to identify the vulnerabilities and risks facing us today that could provide insights for strategies and policy options that would help Asia and Europe to mitigate future crises. The workshop specifically focused on the financial sphere and monetary cooperation in Asia and Europe.
The following topics were discussed:
– Regional and Global regulatory frameworks
– Monetary regimes
– Management of Sovereign Debt and Fiscal Policy Cooperation
– Development of Adequate Social Safety Nets
– Future capacity-building activities
The outcomes of the project will be communicated as concrete policy recommendations to inform the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) process. The project took steps towards building a larger interest base in the topic and complementing ASEF’s work on regional economic and financial integration, a key priority area as set out by ASEM leaders at the 7th and 8th ASEM summits. By channelling the comprehensive policy options generated from the project to the ASEM Ministerial and summit level, ASEF will seek to impact and inform ASEM leaders.