CMIM + AMRO = AMF (Asian Monetary Fund)

Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation + ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office == Asian Monetary Fund


The most useful bargaining chip towards influencing an institution, is one which can provide a viable or indeed preferred alternative, to the target itself (referring here to the IMF of course). All the better when the current situation allows the Asian chips to be ante’d up rather easily from 120Bn to 240Bn to whatever the required amount.
[I see this current actual figure to be less influenced by the outstanding Asian intra-regional trade flows, but more by the Asian central bankers waiting and seeing for the new IMF leadership to adjust IMF voting rights to more realistically reflect actual country economic output; failing which, Asian central banks can simply place the corresponding funds, which otherwise would have been used to top up their IMF funding share, into the CMIM]

{BTW, Spore may have won the right to headquarter the secretariat of the AMRO here for now, but for how long…}

Chiang Mai Initiative: China takes the leader’s seat
June 30th, 2011
Author: Joel Rathus, ANU

In early May, the ASEAN +3 Finance Ministers met in Hanoi and reached an agreement on two important issues in the development of the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI).

Firstly, they appointed Wei Benhua to be the first director of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO). Secondly, they decided to double the size of the CMI (to US$240 billion) while electing to leave in place the IMF link which limits the CMI’s independent capacity to act in a crisis. The CMI has seen further institutional progress despite major competition, even rivalry, between the players and now seems on track to emerge as a fully fledged Asian Monetary Fund (AMF) in the not too distant future. Already, it is possible to detect some of key characteristics of this future AMF.

The selection of a Chinese national as the first head of the CMI’s surveillance secretariat of AMRO is no accident — indeed it was a bitterly fought diplomatic battle. Typical of the CMI negotiations thus far, the outcome was a compromise between China and Japan. While Wei Benhua will lead the organisation in its critical first year, he will not see out the full term of three years. Instead, Wei will step down to allow the younger Japanese national Yoichi Nemoto to take over.

Placing Wei as the director is a victory for China. While Japan has pioneered the development of the institution, both the secretariat and the directorship were prizes which the Japanese were not able to win. In addition to the symbolic victory for China of having a Chinese national leading the CMI — marking China’s clear transition to the East Asian leader in terms of the provision of regional public goods — the first director of an international institution sets the tone for future institutional developments. One should therefore expect decisions made this year on personnel and AMRO’s structure to favourably position China institutionally. It is not clear if Nemoto will be able to revise (or reverse) those norms after taking over (even if he were to win a second term).



One thought on “CMIM + AMRO = AMF (Asian Monetary Fund)

  1. Heh heh…

    “AMRO is seeking to fill four Economist positions…”



    ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO), located in Singapore, was established in April 2011 by ASEAN+3 (China, Japan and Korea) Finance Ministries and Central Banks and HKMA.

    AMRO is seeking to fill four Economist positions (three-year fixed term, to be extendable at the discretion of AMRO) who will, under the supervision of Senior Economist, conduct macroeconomic and financial surveillance of the member countries (incl. field missions), draft surveillance reports, and study and prepare policy recommendations on CMIM related issues. The candidate should possess: (i) an advanced degree in Economics, Finance, or related fields from a reputable university (ideally Ph.D.); (ii) Excellent analytic skills in economics and finance; (iii) At least five years of relevant working experiences; (iv) Strong oral and written communication skills in English, and preferably a command of ASEAN+3 local languages; (v) a nationality of ASEAN+3 countries (including Hong Kong SAR).

    AMRO offers competitive level of remuneration and, for non-Singaporeans, expatriate benefit packages (e.g., housing allowances) pursuant to the internal guidelines.

    Qualified candidates are requested to send their CV and a brief description on his/her experience in macroeconomic surveillance by July 3, 2011 to …

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