June 15, 2017 11:31 pm JST
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Bye bye Britain?

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To Asian leaders who have looked to the European Union as a forerunner in economic integration, Britain's vote to exit the bloc comes as a stunning disappointment.

  

What the UK's exit from the EU means for Asian integration


"The EU is the foremost example of regional integration. This seems to now [be] threatened," Ong Keng Yong, a former secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, told the Nikkei Asian Review.

 

Europe-reliant companies take a hit from Brexit


"You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out," Warren Buffett famously wrote in his letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in February 2002, following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Berkshire chairman and investment guru was referring to how such a surprise event -- a so-called black swan -- can reveal true strength or weakness. On June 24, financial markets unsparingly exposed which Asian blue-chip stocks were most vulnerable after Britain voted the previous day to leave the EU.


Don't count on an exit just yet


The British people have spoken and they have chosen to leave the European Union. European leaders have told the U.K. to hurry up and depart quickly. David Cameron is already packing his bags after resigning as prime minister. Companies and investors are drawing up detailed plans for life post-Brexit.

 

Brexit made waves, but Asia will be able to weather the storm


The U.K. may have voted to exit the EU, throwing markets into in a tizzy, but Asia should come through this episode with only a few scratches. The trade exposure to the U.K. is minimal for most Asian economies. The risks to direct bank financing from U.K. financial institutions appear manageable. The impact of currency swings -- in particular a stronger yen -- are harder to judge, tightening financial conditions for emerging markets in the region.

 

ASEAN can learn from the EU's integration successes and setbacks


A generation or two ago, university courses in Southeast Asia compared the fledgling cooperation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to Europe's impressive integration. Southeast Asia's aspirational regionalism then was inspired and informed by Europe's methodical climb from a postwar customs union to an expanded "single market" and eventually a full-fledged political and economic entity with collective security and defense policies, relatively borderless populations and a single currency.

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