September 25, 2017, 1:38 am
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Common Asean currency needs study: DOF

Finance secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the possibility of an Asean common currency needs to be seriously studied by the Philippine government as it also comes with some disadvantages.

“Essentially, what happens is when we have a common currency you lose that, a tool to manage your own economy. So you are stuck, the system becomes quite inflexible for the country’s managers,” Dominguez said.

“It has some benefits because you can use your currency in a wider region, but managing it, it produces inflexibility. Like for instance take a country like Greece, they have financial problems, the standard solution to that if you had your own money is to devalue your currency, so that you can export more and gain more. Now you cannot, you are stuck,” he added.

Dominguez however said an integrated banking system in the Asean region is good since it increases competition.

“Like the Philippines now, the banking system is very open, it’s very easy to establish a branch or a full bank here, so that’s the first step,” he said.

A report by the Philippine News Agency quoted Ma. Helen De La Vega, Foreign Affairs assistant secretary for Asean Affairs,as saying the Asean was not yet ready to duplicate what the European Union had done.

“Most members of Asean are still considered developing countries and the Philippines is one of them,” De La Vega said in an interview with the PNA at the sidelines of the Asean Joint Consultative Meeting early this year.

She said EU members have almost an equal level of gross national product and they were considered rich countries in that part of the world.

De La Vega is not discounting the possibility of Asean duplicating in the future what the EU had achieved, but before the association gives weight on this, it would wish for Member States to be at almost the same level of progress and development.
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