Barrie Maguire

De comunidad a seguridad en Asia

MANILA – Los visitantes suelen ser catalizadores del cambio. La visita de Barack Obama a Asia que acaba de concluir tal vez no sea diferente, ya que su viaje hizo que Asia y sus líderes se queden pensando en qué tipo de comunidad regional están construyendo.

El sentido moderno de construcción de una comunidad pan-asiática comenzó con la traumática crisis financiera y económica del este de Asia de 1997, cuando todos los países de la región del Pacífico asiático aprendieron de la peor manera que las reformas y las protecciones nacionales podían resultar lamentablemente inadecuadas. Al poco tiempo, se formó un consenso entre muchos líderes asiáticos de que se necesitaba una mayor cooperación y coordinación.

Incluso durante esa crisis de 1997, ya se admitía esta lección, dado que los miembros de la Cooperación Económica de Asia-Pacífico (APEC, por su sigla en inglés) siguieron comprometidos con la liberalización del comercio, una de las fuerzas clave que ayudó a volver a poner en marcha el crecimiento de las economías de Asia. De hecho, la Cumbre de Líderes Económicos de APEC en 1997 designó 15 sectores importantes –entre ellos, el de los automóviles, los productos químicos, los activos energéticos y las medidas ambientales- para una temprana liberalización. Si uno analiza el crecimiento económico de Asia en los últimos 12 años, resulta claro que la liberalización del comercio y la inversión surtió efecto.

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