Structural Aspects of the East Asian Crisis

The once booming dynamic economies in Asia were drawn into a whirlpool of business failures and economic devastation following the flotation of the Thai baht in July 1997, and the consequent collapse of asset prices and currency depreciations in several East Asian countries. High growth in these emerging market economies had masked important structural weaknesses that eventually triggered the economic slump now referred to as the Asia Crisis. To address the structural measures needed to restore sustained economic growth and stability in the crisis-affected countries, this book brings forth analyses and recommendations on the crisis from internationally respected economists and policy makers and the OECD. Overall, experts conclude that, to deal with the crisis and alleviate social distress, structural reforms of government, business and the financial sector must be undertaken rapidly. Such reforms must be established with a long-term view to protect these and other countries from future crises.

Economic recovery in Asia is a high priority for the OECD. As an international organisation with experience across a broad range of structural issues, it is a unique forum for the exchange of views on national experiences with policy reforms and possible improvements in the functioning of financial markets. In November 1998, the OECD's Centre for Co-operation with Non-Members (CCNM) held the symposium that led to this publication. Experts from OECD Member and non-member economies attended the symposium. This publication assembles their contributions and provides insight into the possible role of the OECD in promoting economic recovery in the region.