Asian states urged to take lead

Singapore, June 24:

Asia must take a leading role in tackling pressing global issues and cope

with the impact of rapid growth to preserve its long-term prosperity, regional officials and business leaders said today.

Despite its economic success, Asia is still perceived by the international community as lacking the common ground that wo-uld allow it to tackle global challenges, Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Renault and Nissan, said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia.

“Today there is a perception that when you take Japan, China, India, South Korea, Southeast Asia,

the common things shared by the different countries are not substantial enough,” Ghosn said at the start of the two-day long forum attended by about 300 delegates. “People would like to know how all these countries are going to be able to establish one agenda, one common agenda, particularly to address some of the common concerns that the world has.”

In her opening address to the forum, Philippines pre-sident Gloria Arroyo said the region had a number of able leaders as well as institutions such as the ASEAN that give it direction.

“The real issue is the rapid economic rise of the region at a time when the global order has undergone enormous swings,” she said, citing the rise of China and India. “We would also like to see Japan playing a leading role in contributing to integration in the region, and maintaining and pursuing international peace and security as we try to forge the East Asia community,” she said.

She said the region faced a series of contradictions including increased integration and prosperity that exists alongside the likelihood of greater income disparity. “Balancing these contradictions will be the test of leadership in the region,” she said.

Threat :

SINGAPORE: The rapid growth of Asian cities is posing serious problems and governments must ensure that services and infrastructure can cope. Delegates to WEF cited urban congestion, poor education, inadequate infrastructure and income disparities as key problems faced by the world’s fastest-growing region. Singapore foreign minister said urbanisation was giving rise to political and ec-onomic problems. — AFP

Global chaos:

SINGAPORE: The international community faces a real risk of ‘economic chaos’ arising from major imbalances in global financial system. Complace-ncy has set in after yea-rs of uninterrupted gl-obal growth and there was no evidence to su-ggest a self-correcting mechanism was in pla-ce to avert a major sho-ck to the global financial system. IMF has warned imbalances have potential to undermine growth. — AFP