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Common currencies

With changing global trends towards regional integration, it is inevitable that countries will seek to solidify economic cooperation. This involves, in the initial phase, a consolidated and unified economic plan for the region that is contemplating this move, but this consolidation more often than not begins at the level of trade relations within the group and among non-group members and moves eventually towards a unified currency. The globalization process has been pushing more countries to join regional blocks and these blocks are realizing that a unified currency is necessary for efficiency and survival in the global economy.

Larrian and Tavares (2003) also allude to the vulnerability of the economies of developing countries especially in light of the economic crises that has been affecting East Asia. Countries considering or strengthening existing regional blocks realize that it is more economical to have a unified currency. As the lesson of the introduction of the Euro among European Union member countries, regional groupings will have no choice but to unify their currencies into one common currency.

Because of increases in regional groupings there is, of course, tremendous potential for the introduction of more regional currencies. In the West & Central Africa Monitor (February 2005), one such move towards economic union and single currency was outlined – the East African Community Customs Union (EACCU) launched on the 1st of January 2005. This union between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda aims eventually at introducing a single currency for the union.

Other such possibilities exist globally such as in Latin America (MERCOSUR), the Caribbean (CARICOM), Asia (ASEAN) and many such regional blocks are all contemplating moving towards a common currency. However, as the case with the Euro this might be a tedious process which may not materialize in the very near future.

REFERENCES Larrain F. B. , & Tavares, J. (2003). Regional Currencies Versus Dollarization: Options for Asia and the Americas. Journal of Policy Reform, 6(1), 35-49. West & Central Africa Monitor. (2005, Feb). Launch of sub-regional customs union. 6(2), 5.