During the Asian financial crisis in 1997-1998, some 30% of the region’s combined GDP was lost. The crisis devastated many Asian economies, destroyed well-established companies, and put millions of people in hardship.
The extreme liquidity shortage prompted 14 Asian economies to form a self-help mechanism: the CMIM agreement, which supplements international financial arrangements. The USD240 billion CMIM facility is a financial safety net for the ASEAN+3 economies; comprising the 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as China; Hong Kong, China; Japan and Korea.
On March 31, 2021, ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors signed into force an historic amendment to the CMIM agreement. The change allows members to: 1) access a larger amount of CMIM funds, with support from AMRO, and 2) use local currencies, if they wish, as part of financing arrangements.