World Bank commits $10 bn as Asean standby fund

October 15th, 2008 - 2:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Manila, Oct 15 (DPA) The World Bank committed $10 billion in a standby fund to help member countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) weather the global economic crisis, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said Wednesday.Arroyo said the bank issued the commitment after the 10-country Asean and its partners Japan, China and South Korea agreed at the weekend to set up a mechanism that would help cash-strapped members.

Asean consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Arroyo said Asean ministers and their partners from China, South Korea and Japan met Saturday on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank meetings in Washington.

“The facility can also be used to purchase what the bankers called toxic assets and recapitalized troubled financial institutions and companies,” she said.

“The World Bank indicated that it could initially commit $10 billion as its contribution to the standby facility,” Arroyo added.

Arroyo said the IMF and World Bank would draft the implementing mechanism for the standby facility “as soon as possible and in consultation with Asean finance ministers and central bank governors.”

“Immediately thereafter, they will convene another meeting to discuss the guidelines for the facility, which we suggested should be quick in disbursing with minimal conditionalities,” she added.

Arroyo reiterated her appeal to governments of developed countries to consider the interests of developing and emerging economies in their response to the worsening global economic crisis.

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