REGIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS:
You have read about regional international trading blocs in Block 5 Course MEC 007 International Trade and Finance. This unit deals with regional financial institutions which are institutions working in a group of nations. Regional financial institutions are institutions that have financial dealings in a certain region rather than at a global level. But we explore in a greater part of the unit how a group of nations comes together to engage in foreign trade and international financial dealings among each other using arrangements that may be thought to be substitutes for the fixed exchange rate system.
We will explain the theory of customs unions in the next section. These unions are basically arrangements where a group of nations do away with tariff and non-tariff barriers among themselves but apply these to countries outside the group. The subsequent section deals with currency unions and optimum currency areas. These are areas where the member countries agree to share a common currency. Themonetary or currency union is an extension of the fixed exchange rate that seeks to avoid the instability associated with the fixed exchange rate system. The section after that deals with regional financial institutions, which are financial institutions that
lend at the level of a few nations, or one continent. An example is the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The final section discusses the evolution of Europe in the post-World War II period from being a customs union to moving towards a monetary union with a common currency.