The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was launched in Beijing with delegates from 21 Asian countries plus China attending. India is part of the group. No prizes for guessing which country will dominate the new institution, which will rival the Asian Development Bank in which the US has a big say.
And Malaysia has said it will collaborate with Indonesia to build a new Asian car. The region is one of the world’s most dynamic car markets, currently dominated by the Japanese.
Both developments take us back to the 1990s. There was much talk about the need for a new Asian financial system to avoid the humiliation many governments endured to get International Monetary Fund aid after the 1997 crisis. The idea of an Asian car can be traced back to the unsuccessful Malaysian project to build the Proton car.
A question: is Asia going back to the future?