Monday, ASEAN secretary general Kao Kim Hourn stated that a common currency and monetary union for the ASEAN region are not a priority at this time due to the fact that there are numerous other agenda items that require attention.
During a public lecture at Universitas Pelita Harapan in Tangerang, Banten, he emphasized that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is currently the top priority in ASEAN.
"I believe the concept of monetary union has been debated for twenty years. "Of course, there is still a long way to go because we have other priorities," he stated.
In addition to the recovery from the pandemic, other current priorities include ASEAN connectivity, the blue economy agenda, and expanding intra-ASEAN trade, according to Hourn.
"These are the actual priorities. Regarding monetary union, there is still a great deal of confusion," he said.
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Nonetheless, Indonesia, the current ASEAN chair, has proposed the development of regional payment connectivity to facilitate cross-border payments in the region.
Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore's central banks and financial authorities have signed a memorandum of understanding to increase regional cross-border remittances. To achieve this, the QR code systems of the five countries are anticipated to be linked.
Since the signing of the regional payment connectivity agreement in November 2022, only Thailand has utilized cross-border QRIS.
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