• Kyodo

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Finance ministers and central bank governors from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, China and South Korea agreed Thursday to double the size of a multilateral currency swap arrangement to $240 billion in a bid to shield the region from future financial crises.

The beefing up of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization scheme, which aims to address balance-of-payments and short-term liquidity difficulties in the region, comes amid calls to strengthen the Asian safety net to act as a buffer to risks that the eurozone debt crisis could pose.

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