Asian Currency Unit: Searching for Optimal Currency Basket Structure


E. rapova, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation (


The article examines the prospects of monetary integration in East Asia and the specific issue of the Asian Currency Unit (ACU) that could potentially become a core element of Asian monetary integration in the long run. The research explores main initiatives underlying financial cooperation and key obstacles hampering monetary integration in the region. The concept of Asian currency unit was introduced by the East Asian countries as one of the mechanisms aimed to ensure regional financial stability. Being a weighted average of regional currencies ACU is highly negatively affected by the volatility of Asian currencies’ exchange rates. That’s why the main aim of the article is to find the “optimal ACU currency basket structure” with minimal variance able to deliver stability in intra-regional exchange rates. The paper offers the author’s attempt to answer three main questions. First, what kind of criteria/macroeconomic indicators must underlie the ACU basket computation. Second, what national currencies should be included in this basket. Third, what weights are to be attributed to the national currencies for achieving an optimal basket structure. The research considers five alternative configurations of the ACU basket. The best one should be neither too rigid nor too volatile; it must be a compromise solution meeting interests of the main regional actors. Initial estimates of the ACU currency weights are based on the RIETI concept that is based on consideration of three main economic indicators, namely, the member countries shares in the aggregate GDP, foreign trade and outward investment. The author complemented the basic methodology by an extra criterion – countries’ shares in aggregate international reserves. The final conclusions on the optimal ACU basket composition are made through the analysis of the aggregated variation coefficient for each alternative set of the national currencies. The coefficient is calculated according to the original method developed by the author. The calculations are based on the national currencies’ monthly exchange rates data generated for the period January 2009 – February 2014. The analysis results in proposition of an optimal ACU basket structure with the calculated optimal countries’ weights. The author gives the recommendations for higher efficiency and regional financial stability.


Asian currency unit, monetary integration, financial regionalism, multicurrency basket, ASEAN, ASEAN+3, East Asia


Registered in system SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Arapova E. Asian Currency Unit: Searching for Optimal Currency Basket Structure. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2015, No 1, pp. 40-51

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment

Current Issue
2020, vol. 64, No. 9

Topical Themes of the Issue:

  • World Energy after the Pandemic
  • Developing Countries in the Political Economy of the Post-Coronavirus World
  • The Prospects for Settlement of North Korean Nuclear Problem in View of the Presidential Elections in the USA 
  • EU Single Financial Market: Illusion or Reality?
  • Consequences of the Civil War in Syria and Ways of Overcoming Them
View This Issue (2020, vol. 64, No. 9)
Submit an Article

Dear readers!
Please note that free access to full-text issues of the Journal is being opened at our WEB-site after 6 months of the date of publications. Currently, the releases of 2015–2018 are available for free. The work on deepening the open archive of full-text issues will be continued.

Dear readers!
This is to inform the researchers of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations that electronic version of the 4-nd issue of 2019 of French magazine Politique étrangère is now available. Those who are interested, please personally address to the editorial staff of MEMO Journal (room 18-17) with an electronic media (e-mailing is not possible because of technical reasons).


In response to the challenges of our time the Editorial board continues to open new thematic rubrics:

“World Energy Sector after Pandemic”. We plan to publish articles presenting in-depth analysis of influence of Pandemic on the global energy sector and forecasts of further developments in its various branches.

“Civilization processes of modern development” is a new rubric opened by MEMO Journal in 2020. It will be devoted to the analysis of the influence of civilizational factors and inter-civilizational interactions on the political and socio-economic development of the world at whole, regions and countries.

“Africa today and tomorrow”The rubric devoted to contemporary issues of Africa which is attracting growing interest of the world's leading actors. We plan to publish the articles analyzing the status of statehood, socio-economic and political development of the countries of Black continent, as well as the integration processes between them.

Dear colleagues, authors and readers!

We kindly request you to turn to editor-in-chief and executive secretary directly concerning reviewing scientific publications in our journal. Only editor-in-chief takes decision on order and publication the reviews!


"World Eonomy and International Relations" announces a contest for the best joint academic publications of domestic and foreign researchers and experts in topical issues of the world economy and international relations. The winners will be selected according to the results of peer reviewing and discussion at the Editorial Board. The articles will be published in priority order.


The print version of “World Economy and International Relations” journal is distributed by advance subscription only, and is not offered for retail sale. To subscribe please address to any post office in Russia by referring to the Federal Postal Service Union Catalogue, section “ARSMI”, the journal index is 70542. The subscription may be made for the whole subscription period or starting from any nearest available month for desired number of issues.

To purchase the full-text electronic version of the journal’s issue/article please address to the WEB portal of Scientific electronic library or URL:

In journal
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 |

The author’s opinions may not coincide with the position of editorial