International Conference on ” A Decade After: Recovery and Adjustment since the East Asian Crisis” Organised by International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs), Global Sustainability and Environment Institute (GSEI), Action Aid and Focus on the Global South at Bangkok Thailand , July 12-14, 2007.

July 2007 marks the completion of a decade since the onset of the financial crises in several East Asian Countries. The crisis of 1997, whose effects are still visible, focused attention on the dangers associated with a world dominated by fluid finance. It brought home the fact that financial liberalisation can result in crises even in so-called ‘miracle economies’. In fact the crisis marked the waning of the “East Asian miracle”, which could be described as the third major process in the post-war period (after the initial success of import-substituting growth and the oil price hikes of the 1970s) that sought to alter significantly the distribution of income across the world in favour of some developing nations.

The crisis ensured this turn of events through a number of routes. With hindsight it is clear that currency and financial crises have devastating effects on the real economy. The ensuing liquidity crunch and wave of bankruptcies result in severe deflation, with attendant consequences for employment and the standard of living. The post-crisis adoption of conventional IMF stabilisation strategies tends to worsen the situation. And, asset price deflation and devaluation, pave the way for foreign capital inflows that finance a transfer of ownership of assets from domestic to foreign investors.

The conference was concerned with delineating the alternative trajectories of post-crisis development in different economies, the lessons they offer and their implications they have for alternative policies. The initial adjustment to the crisis varied significantly across countries, with an acceleration of liberalization in some (South Korea and Thailand) to grater intervention in others (Malaysia). In some ways all these economies have recovered. But the recovery has not meant a return to miracle status; has been accompanied by significant acquisition (at deflated prices) of productive assets in these economies by foreign firms; has involved a substantial restructuring of the financial sector; has altered the nature of engagement of the world system by these economies; and has involved a setback to achievements on the human development front.

The IDEAs conference, which was organised in partnership with Global Sustainability and Environment Institute (GSEI), Action Aid and Focus on the Global South, aimed to take stock of these processes of adjustment and restructuring, their impact in terms of recovery and growth, the degree to which the problem of fragility has been addressed and the fall-out for progress on the human development front.

Accordingly, the papers and discussion focussed on: (i) How the particular choices made after the crisis influenced the differential dependence on and impact of new forms of finance in different countries and the transformation of the nature and role of the financial sector; and (ii) how this affected the development trajectories and outcomes in the countries concerned, with some attention to the substantial dilution of the developmental role of the State, the growing presence of foreign firms and the increase in consolidation and concentration in the real sectors, a possible neglect of agriculture, and the impact all this has had on employment, social indicators and the environment.

Discussions centred on the experiences of Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand, with some comparison of post-crisis development experiences outside Asia. Below is the programme with presentationms and papers attached.

Day 1 (July 12, 2007)

The Emerging Role of Finance

“Financial Crises, Reserve Accumulation, and Capital Flows”
Prabhat Patnaik
Professor of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University and
Vice-Chairman, Kerala State Planning Board, India.
Download :         Presentation                  Paper

“Continuity or Change: Finance Capital in Developing Countries a Decade After”
C.P. Chandrasekhar
Professor of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Download :         Presentation                  Paper

Regional Perspectives on Post-crisis development 

“Once Again: Ten Years After the Asian Crisis”
Edsel Beja, Jr.
Deputy Director, Centre for Economic Research and Development
Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
Download :         Presentation                  Paper

“Whodunnit? Financial Crisis and the Death of the Asian Developmental State”
Jayati Ghosh
Professor of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Download :         Presentation                 

“Thai Capital after the Asian Crisis”
Chris Baker/ Pasuk Pongphaichit
Historian and Author/ Professor, Chulalongkorn University
Download :         Presentation                 

Indonesia and Malaysia

“Reflections on the Indonesian Crisis”
Rizal Ramli
Chairman ECONIT Advisory Group and
former Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance RI

“Capital Controls, Adjustments and Recovery in Malaysia”
Jomo Sundaram, Assistant Secretary General,
Department of Economic & Social Affairs, United Nations

Day 2 (July 13, 2007)

Thailand and the Philippines

“Thailand 10 years after the Crisis: Beyond Finance, the Exhaustion of a Low-Productivity Growth Regime?”
Bruno Jetin
Faculty of Economics, Universite Paris Nord and
Centre for Education and Labour Studies, Chiang Mai University.
Download :         Presentation                  

“The Philippines after the Asian Crisis”
Joseph Lim
Professor, Department of Economics, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
Download :         Presentation                 

“Philippine Globalization in the New Millennium”
Christina Morales
Outreach Coordinator, Global Transparency Initiative and Vice-President, Action for Economic Reform, Philippines
South Korea
Download :         Presentation                 

“The Outbreak of the 1997 Financial Crisis and Its Recovery”
Doowon Lee
Professor of Economics, Yonsei University
Download :         Presentation                  

The End of Developmental Citizenship?: Economic Restructuring and Social Displacement in Post-Crisis South Korea
Chang Kyung-Sup
Professor of Sociology, Seoul National University
Download :         Presentation    

Latin America

“Latin American Financial Crises and Recovery”
Jan Kregel
Distinguished Research Professor, Centre for Full Employment & Price Stability, University of Missouri, Kansas City
Turkey
Download :         Presentation                  Paper

“Patterns of Adjustment under the Age of Finance: The Case of Turkey as a Peripheral agent of New-Imperialism”
Erinc Yeldan
Professor, Department of Economic, Bilkent University and
PERI, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Download :         Presentation                  

Day 3 (July 14, 2007)

Russia

“Russia: After the 1998 Currency Crisis”
Vladimir Popov
Professor, New Economic School, Moscow and
Visiting professor, Institute of Central/ East European and Russian Area Studies, Department of Economics, Carleton University, Ottawa
Download :         Presentation                 

China

“China and Post-Crisis Globalization: Towards A New Developmentalism?”
Dic Lo
Professor, School of Economics, Renmin University, Beijing, China
Download :         Presentation                  

“What is the Real Problem with China’s Economy?”
Andong Zhu
Assistant Professor, School of Economics and Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Download :         Presentation         

“Vietnam and the Experience of the Asian Crisis”
Pietro Masina
Department of Social Sciences, University of Naples ‘The Oriental’
Download :         Presentation                  

“Thailand After the Economic Crisis of 1997: Labour Issues”
Voravid Charoenlert
Professor, Chiang Mai, University
Download :         Paper

“Globalization of Industrial Production: The Case of Electronic Industry and Its Environmental Impacts”
Thanpuying Suthawan Sathirathai and Renu Sukharomana
Good Governance for Social Development and the Environment Foundation (GSEI)
Download :         Presentation                 

Panel: Revisiting the discussion

Moderator: Prabhat Patnaik
Discussion led by
Walden Bello
Co-Director, Focus on the Global South