Chapter 9: Regional Answers to the Global Crisis? Asia-Pacific Multilateral Organisations and the Economic Downturn
Jörn Dosch 1. INTRODUCTION In April 2010, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders adopted a declaration on sustainable recovery and development which reiterates the organisation’s determination to overcome the negative impacts of the global economic crisis to maintain regional growth (ASEAN Secretariat 2009). In March 2009, the Parliament of Mercosur stressed that the bloc ‘must unify and coordinate its position to face the crisis in the G20, WTO, the IMF and the World Bank’ (Xinhua General News Service 2009). In November 2009, in the response to the crisis leaders of 21 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) economies demanded ‘a new growth paradigm and an expanded trade and investment agenda that will strengthen regional economic integration (REI) in the Asia-Pacific region’ (APEC 2009). In January 2010, the foreign Ministers of the Forum for East Asia–Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) expressed their ‘determination to continue working together to accelerate economic recovery by sharing our own experiences, wisdom and best practices that both regions obtained as they got over the past crises’ (FEALAC 2010). However, the more interesting and challenging question addresses the extent to which the rhetoric has been followed by targeted policy action. This chapter compares the four organisations from two different angles: first, which of the two regional organisations, ASEAN or Mercosur, has been more efficient and effective in responding to the crisis and why? Second, which of the two multilateral cooperation structures, regionalism or inter-regionalism has made the more significant contributions to countering the crisis...
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