Asian countries need to step up cooperation in finding ways to prevent excessive capital flows from hurting their financial market stability and dampen overall economic growth in the region, Seoul’s top economic and financial policymaker said today.

“I believe our urgent task as policymakers is to find carefully designed policy measures to mitigate the risk of excessive volatility in capital flows facing many emerging economies without negating the benefits of capital flows,” Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun told an international conference in Seoul.

Yoon made the remarks in his opening speech for the “Conference for Future Vision of ASEAN+3 Financial Cooperation.”

It was attended by around 100 financial policymakers, central bankers, scholars and experts from Asian countries.

The meeting of the 10-member ASEAN along with South Korea, Japan and China was the first of its kind convened to discuss financial cooperation and other pending issues for the post-crisis era.

Yoon noted that Asian countries should enhance the effectiveness of the regional financial safety net under the Chiang Mai Initiative Multi-lateralization (CMIM) so that it can properly deal with financial crisis possibly caused by capital flight or sudden stop.

The CMIM refers to the money pool launched in March last year as Asian countries agreed to set aside USD 120 billion to prevent financial crises in Asia and help regional economies recover if crises occur.

“I believe we should expand CMIM to more than twice its current volume to an amount over USD 240 billion,” he said. Praising Asian countries’ successful recovery after the latest financial crisis through close policy coordination, Yoon noted that it is the time to find “new areas” in cooperation for regional prosperity.

“Now, it is time that we move toward our better future together. We should initiate, knowing what we are capable of, a more future-oriented dialogue among ASEAN+3 member countries,” he said.

“At this point, our primary task is to identify new areas of financial cooperation, so that we can turn the strides and achievements of the last 10 years into the foundation for greater regional prosperity in the next 10 years,” he added. (Yonhap) –