• Kyodo

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Horst Koehler, the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said Thursday that many steps need to be taken before an Asian Monetary Fund can be realized.

“I have not seen, up to now, a really serious concept of an Asian Monetary Fund,” he told reporters in Bangkok. “From my experience in negotiations for the Masstricht Treaty on the European Economic and Monetary Union, . . . an Asian Monetary Fund needs a lot of work. (Before that) it needs trust among member states.”

Koehler, former German deputy minister of finance for international financial and monetary relations, led negotiations on behalf of the German government between 1990 and 1993 on the agreement that became the Maastricht Treaty.

When asked if he was worried an AMF would duplicate the role of the IMF, Koehler said there may be a place for a fund with complementary responsibilities as opposed to one in opposition to the IMF.

Koehler arrived in Bangkok on Wednesday on the first leg of a fact-finding tour to Thailand, China, South Korea, Indonesia and India.

The IMF chief, who began the top job May 1, is touring Asia to hear the perspectives of Asian countries on the IMF.