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2009年2月24日 (火)

ASEAN+3、成長センターの再生を急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 24, 2009)

Domestic demand key to fixing Asian economy

ASEAN+3、成長センターの再生を急げ(224日付・読売社説)

Affected by the deepening global economic downturn, the Asian economy, which is regarded as the hub of the world's economic growth, has also been slowing down.

 金融危機の影響で、世界の成長センターとされるアジア経済も急減速している。

Aimed at revitalizing the economies in the region, the finance ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as well as Japan, China and South Korea pledged to strengthen coordination of economic policies within the region.

 この再生へ向け、タイで開かれた東南アジア諸国連合・日中韓(ASEANプラス3)の財務相会議は、地域の政策協調を強化する決意を示した。

The action plan, adopted at the ASEAN plus Three meeting held in Phuket, Thailand, on Sunday, features an expansion of regional currency swap agreements--the system of lending money to countries running short of foreign currency reserves within the Asia region--to up to 120 billion dollars. It also states that a regional monitoring mechanism for each country's economic conditions will be set up.

 会議で採択された「行動計画」は、通貨危機に陥った国に対し、アジア域内で外貨を融通し合う資金枠を1200億ドルに拡大することが柱だ。各国の経済状況を監視する独自機関も創設する。

So far, such currency turmoil as occurred during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis has not been seen. However, there is some worrying movement in the markets, including a fall in the value of the South Korean won. We must be alert to prevent the recurrence of such a crisis.

 今のところ、1997~98年のアジア通貨危機のような通貨不安は発生していない。しかし、韓国通貨ウォンが下落するなど、懸念される相場の動きもみられる。危機再燃を防ぐ警戒は怠れない。

It is very significant to facilitate the mechanism to expeditiously tackle such a crisis within Asia, in addition to the assistance measures from the International Monetary Fund. Those involved should swiftly work out the specifics of the mechanism, including the allocation of additional funds by each country.

 国際通貨基金(IMF)の支援策とは別に、域内で機動的に対応できる体制を整備する意義は大きい。拡大資金枠の分担金など、具体的制度設計を急ぐべきだ。

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Cooperation leads to progress

It may be a step forward to realize an Asian monetary fund initiative, an issue over which the nations involved were once deadlocked.

 かつて頓挫した「アジア通貨基金(AMF)」構想の実現に向けた一歩になる可能性もある。

A more serious issue for Asian nations is the abrupt slowdown of the economy. The so-called decoupling theory, which posits that even if the developed countries are in economic slump, the high growth of newly emerging economies will ameliorate the situation, has crumbled.

 アジア各国にとって、より深刻な問題は急激な景気減速だ。先進国経済が低迷しても新興国は高成長できるとの、「デカップリング(非連動)論」は幻だった。

According to the IMF's forecasts for 2009, growth in the ASEAN member nations will shrink to 2.7 percent. The economies of China and India, which have both continued to see robust growth, are also expected to decelerate, with China's economy expected to grow 6.7 percent and India's by 5.1 percent.

 IMFの予測では、ASEANの今年の成長率は2・7%に減速する。高成長が続いた中国も6・7%、インドも5・1%などと大幅減速し、総崩れ状態だ。

Many countries have been dependent on exports to the United States and other nations and, as a result, have achieved high rates of economic growth. However, such a growth path has collapsed. A new strategy for economic growth, which does not rely on exports, must be formulated.

 多くの国が、米国向けなどの輸出に依存し、高成長を遂げてきたが、そうした成長路線が崩れた。輸出に頼らない新たな成長戦略を描かなければならない。

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Economic self-reliance

It is appropriate that China, South Korea and other nations have decided to enact large-scale economic stimulus measures through fiscal and monetary policies. Although it is a difficult task, each nation must hurry to convert to an economy driven by domestic demand.

 中国、韓国などが財政・金融政策の両面から、大型の景気対策を決めたことは適切な対応だ。難しい課題だが、各国が内需主導型の経済に転換を急ぐ必要がある。

Once the Asian economy, with its potential for growth, is revitalized, it can be expected to become a leading force in pulling the world economy out of the global recession.

 潜在成長力を持つアジア経済が復活し、牽引(けんいん)役になれば、世界不況からの脱出にも寄与すると期待されよう。

It is also important that the participating nations are firmly against protectionist trade measures and agreed to refrain from introducing new trade barriers. If protectionism prevails, trade will shrink and the recession will deepen. It is vital to contain protectionism within Asia and promote free trade.

 「行動計画」が、保護貿易主義に反対し、新たな貿易障壁の導入を控えると合意した点も重要だ。保護主義が広がれば、貿易が縮小し、不況が深刻化する。域内の保護主義を封じ込め、自由貿易を推進することが大切である。

Japan failed to make its presence felt during the meeting, as Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano--who also is state minister in charge of financial services and economic and fiscal policy--did not attend the meeting due to Diet deliberations and other reasons.

 今回の会議で存在感を示せなかったのが日本だ。与謝野財務・金融・経済財政相が、国会日程などを理由に欠席したからだ。

Japan plays a significant role in the Asian economy. A Cabinet minister should have attended the meeting and shown leadership.

 日本がアジア経済に果たす役割は大きい。閣僚が会議に出席し、指導力を発揮すべきだった。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 24, 2009)

20092240141  読売新聞)

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