Relancer l’Europe émergente

LONDRES – A la suite de la crise financière de 1997-1998, les dirigeants politiques des marchés asiatiques émergeants – Corée du Sud, Thaïlande, Malaisie, et même Indonésie – avaient jurés qu’ils ne seraient « plus jamais » humiliés par les marchés de capitaux internationaux. Ils ont donc fait en sorte de résorber les faiblesses structurelles qui avaient entrainé l’effondrement de leurs systèmes.

De nombreux pays de l’Europe émergente ont connu des expériences de mort imminente similaires lors de la récente crise financière. Grâce à des interventions nationales et internationales, leurs monnaies et leurs systèmes bancaires ont échappé à l’effondrement mais nombre d’entre eux ont subi une chute massive de la production et une explosion du chômage. Ils n’ont malheureusement pas démontré la même détermination que leurs homologues asiatiques dans la mise en place des réformes nécessaires pour corriger leurs vulnérabilités.

Après la crise asiatique, les économies de la région ont entrepris un examen interne et externe approfondi. Une perte de compétitivité, une fragilité dans la gouvernance et un manque de transparence les avaient à l’évidence rendu plus vulnérables. Les secteurs bancaires mal régulés, des structures de marchés médiocres et une faible compétition, ainsi que des restrictions sur leurs échanges commerciaux et leurs comptes courants furent aussi parmi les faiblesses identifiées. Les différents pays asiatiques n’ont pas tous vacillé de la même manière et certaines opportunités de réformes ont été sans aucun doute perdues, mais d’importantes leçons ont été retenues et les institutions ont été améliorées.

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