The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper examines the costs, benefits, preconditions, and implications of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional currency arrangement that is assumed to culminate in a regional currency. On economic criteria, ASEAN appears less suited for a regional currency arrangement than Europe before the Maastricht Treaty, although the difference is not large. The transition to European Monetary Union (EMU) indicates that the path toward a common currency is fraught with difficulty. A firm political commitment would seem to be vital to ensuring that an attempt to form a regional currency arrangement is not viewed as simply another fixed exchange rate regime, open to speculative crises.