Speech by Mr Choi JongKu, Deputy Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Korea (ASEAN+3 Co-chair in 2012), at Opening Ceremony of AMRO Limited

Good Morning, Everyone dear colleagues and distinguished guests. First off, I would like to congratulate Director Wei and AMRO staff members, and extend my gratitude for all your hard work in organizing this ceremony. I would also like to thank the Government of Singapore for providing comprehensive support, so that AMRO could successfully be settled. This Opening Ceremony is very special, and I cannot begin to express how delighted I am to be here.

After suffering from the Asian Financial Crisis, we initiated the ASEAN+3 Process in 1999. Since then, we have written the history of ASEAN+3 financial cooperation to prevent another regional crisis from occurring. And today’s ceremony signifies a new chapter in that history. As we already know, AMRO is an indispensable body for the seamless operation of CMIM, which is the regional financial safety net. As such, the establishment of AMRO is a remarkable event for all of us.

However, I’ve heard some skeptical views about AMRO. Some doubt whether AMRO could play a significant role because it is still small in size and has just begun to take root. But we have established AMRO with big dreams. Just as a farmer plants and tends a small seed in hopes of a good harvest in fall, Our eyes are set on the present potentials and our minds are set on the future outcome.

Our hopes are high that AMRO will not only serve as an organization which monitors the regional macroeconomic status
and assists CMIM Decision Making Body, But also develop into an internationally-recognized unit that will contribute to the global economy and show the world what Asia is all about. With this future vision, we will, and must, provide continuous support to AMRO, and work towards strengthening its capacity and upgrading it to an international body.

Director Wei and AMRO staff members, I hope you will remember the faces of your colleagues from across ASEAN+3 who have come afar to celebrate this day despite their busy schedules. I hope you will remember the expectations that we have of you, and keep that engraved in your mind. And, I hope you will do your due diligence with a sense of mission that you feel today.

In case of a potential economic crisis from outside the region, please take it as your mission to detect and warn us in advance. And please speak without reservations about the growing risk factors within the region. I have no doubt that your insightful reports, constructive criticism and surveillance will greatly help us avert disastrous crisis like the one we had before.

Dear colleagues, the word “beginning” always fills us with excitement. A new Year full of hopes has dawned upon us. AMRO will officially begin its journey today; CMIM will introduce a new crisis prevention function; and ABMI will leave behind the past decade to start anew with the New Roadmap+ for the next decade. With such an important year ahead of us, I, as a co-chair with Mrs. Neav, am very excited. At the same time, my mind is preoccupied with the thought of strengthening our ability to respond to global financial crisis and preparing for the better future. So for us, this Ceremony is an opportunity to look back on our past achievements and gain confidence to forge ahead.

Dear colleagues, together, let’s make it happen. As Co-chairs of this year, Korea and Cambodia will spearhead efforts to make sure we can bring out such results. To this end, we would like to ask you for your sincere advice and continuous support. Let me congratulate you once again. I wish AMRO the best in every endeavor!

Thank you.