The ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (Amro) established by the Philippines and its neighbors is expected to help the countries improve their crisis-prevention ability amid a backdrop of global economic uncertainties.

Consequently, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines), countries in the region are expected to attract more investors who are in search of safe havens as industrialized countries in the West continue to grapple with economic and debt problems.

Amro is a body formed to conduct regular surveillance of the economic performance of member-countries of the ASEAN+3, and to come up with prescriptions in case of deteriorating indicators of economic health.

Diwa Guinigundo, deputy governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, said central bank officials of countries from the ASEAN+3 last week agreed to give all the resources that Amro needs to effectively fulfill its mandate and to help the region shield itself from ill effects of shocks from other parts of the globe.

Amro will assume a surveillance function for the selected Asian countries and that is similar to what the International Monetary Fund does for its member-countries globally.

Central bankers from countries belonging to the ASEAN+3 met last week in Manila on the sidelines of the 45th annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank to discuss measures to strengthen their economies and improve the region’s ability to cope with challenges.

Guinigundo said the Amro, which was officially created last year but is expected to start full operations this year following the meeting of the region’s central bankers last week, will complement the move of ASEAN+3 to double the size of its pool of pledged funds to US$240 billion. –Michelle V. Remo, Asia News Network (Philippine Daily Inquirer)