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Are Asian Sovereign Wealth Funds Different?

Authors

  • Edwin M. TRUMAN

    Corresponding author
    1. Peterson Institute for International Economics
      Edwin M. Truman, Peterson Institute for International Economics, 1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA. Email: ttruman@piie.com
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  • This paper has benefited from the excellent and essential assistance of Sarah Bagnall as well as from comments by Chia Siow Yue, Andrew Rozanov, and participants at the Twelfth Asian Economic Policy Review conference in Osaka on May 20, 2011.

Edwin M. Truman, Peterson Institute for International Economics, 1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA. Email: ttruman@piie.com

Abstract

Sovereign wealth funds have become a prominent feature of the international financial landscape. However, legitimate concerns have been raised about these funds. Many of those concerns can be addressed via increased accountability and transparency by the funds. The Santiago Principles are a good start in doing so. My sovereign wealth funds scoreboard points to areas where these Principles can be improved. At the same time, the OECD effort to address concerns from the host-country side has not resulted in the erection of new barriers to that form of cross-border investment, but the OECD failed to reverse the creeping financial protectionism of the past decade. Because of their size and the source of their funding, some Asian funds stand out. As a result, those funds will be held to a higher standard of accountability and transparency.

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