- It began with the SEA Voting Group
- The Idea of Establishing SEACEN was mooted
- Finally...the SEACEN Centre as a legal entity
- Current Membership
- Associate Members and Observers
It began with the SEA Voting Group...
The history of The SEACEN Centre is closely tied with the annual meetings of the governors of South East Asian central banks. In February 1966, a group of governors of some South East Asian central banks met in Bangkok, Thailand, to exchange information and ideas on matters affecting their economies and financial systems. The meeting was attended by seven heads/representatives of the central banks and monetary authorities of Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
The discussions during the initial annual meetings were focused on the exchange of information and ideas on economic and financial conditions of the individual countries. Much emphasis was placed on the setting up of a South East Asian voting group to represent the interests of SEACEN economies in the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (now known as the World Bank), and the Asian Development Bank. It is now a matter of record that the South East Asian Voting Group was subsequently established and is still in existence although the composition of the Voting Group is not exactly the same as the membership of The SEACEN Centre.
The idea of setting up a centre for monetary studies and training in the region was mooted during the Second Governors Conference held in Baguio, the Philippines in 1967. The subsequent annual conferences of the governors discussed the feasibility of establishing a centre for monetary studies in Manila, with a regional training centre located in Kuala Lumpur. Committees created by the governors looked into these aspects and at their seventh meeting in Kuala Lumpur in 1972, it was agreed that a single centre for both research and training be established in Kuala Lumpur.
The SEACEN Centre started to operate on an informal basis in 1972 by conducting training courses, relying on the resources of member central banks and monetary authorities, notably those of Bank Negara Malaysia’s Staff Training Centre. The first SEACEN course was on Management of Financial Institutions held in Bank Negara Malaysia's Staff Training Centre from 17 April to 13 May 1972. Twenty-two participants from Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam attended the course. On 15 January 1977, just prior to the Twelfth Governors’ Conference, The SEACEN Centre’s building in Jalan Universiti, Kuala Lumpur, which was constructed by Bank Negara Malaysia, was inaugurated by Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, then Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. The SEACEN Centre relocated to its current premise of Sasana Kijang, Bank Negara Malaysia, in June 2011.
Work to establish The SEACEN Centre as a separate legal entity commenced in 1973 to enable the Centre to recruit international professional staff to carry out its functions and activities. On 3 February 1982, the Agreement among the SEACEN Central Banks on the South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre was signed by Mr. Rachmat Saleh, Governor of Bank Indonesia; Mr. Abdul Aziz bin Haji Taha, Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia; Mr. Kalyan Bikram Adhikary, Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank; Mr. Jaime C. Laya, Governor of the Central Bank of the Philippines; Mr. Lim Ho Kee, Deputy Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore; Mr. Warnasena Rasaputram, Governor of the Central Bank of Ceylon; and Mr. Nukul Prachuabmoh, Governor of the Bank of Thailand. On 27 January 1982, the South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre was registered as a company limited by guarantee without a share capital under the Companies Act 1965 of Malaysia.
Since its establishment, the membership of SEACEN has grown. There are currently 20 Regular Member Central Banks and Monetary Authorities. In addition to the original eight members, it is joined by The Bank of Korea on 25 January 1990, Central Bank, Chinese Taipei on 25 January 1992, The Bank of Mongolia on 20 May 1999, Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam on 1 April 2003, the Reserve Bank of Fiji on 1 April 2004, the Bank of Papua New Guinea on 2 June 2005, the National Bank of Cambodia on 1 April 2006; the State Bank of Vietnam on 1 September 2006 and the People’s Bank of China on 25 January 2011; the Bank of The Lao, PDR on 14 February 2012; Reserve Bank of India on 1 January 2013; and, Hong Kong Monetary Authority on 1 November 2014.