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PM Dung calls on new approaches to East Asia role
By Thu Nguyet and Binh Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily
Monday,  Jun 7, 2010,21:55 (GMT+7)

By Thu Nguyet and Binh Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (L) at the "How Will Asia Lead?" session on the opening day of the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2010 in HCMC on Sunday Photo: Mong Binh
HCMC – Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, speaking at the plenary session of the 19th World Economic Forum on East Asia 2010 in HCMC on Monday, called on the region to think of new approaches to assume a bigger role globally when the time comes.

Vị trí đặt quảng cáo“A truly new opportunity has dawned on East Asia. It is time for East Asia to be confident to take a greater role in global governance,” Dung said in his opening speech at the two-day forum at the InterContinental Asiana Saigon.

More than 400 of Asia’s leading decision-makers participated in the opening session of the first forum of its kind held in Vietnam, where Dung and other government leaders noted Asia was the first region to recover from the global economic turbulence.

This session was also joined by Cambodia’s PM Hun Sen, Laotian PM Bouasone Bouphavanh, and Myanmar’s PM U Thein Sein. Other dignitaries included Kiat Sittheeamorn, President of Thailand Trade Representative, and Wang Zhizhen, vice chairwoman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

“We understand that in order to have a more important and deserving leadership role in the global political economy, every member of East Asia should strive to enhance its role and leadership capacity with far-sighted vision,” Dung said.

Challenges in the post-crisis period require East Asian economies to review their targets and priorities for years to come in order to post stronger and more solid development.

To gain a more important role in the global sphere, Dung raised questions for East Asia leaders to answer and deal at the national level, in relation to the adjustments to their current development models to ensure high, balanced and sustainable economic growth.

“Strategic adjustments are necessary to stay in line with the post-crisis international landscape,” Dung said.

Regional unity within diversity

At the regional level, Prime Minister Dung questioned how to promote inter-regional relationships and cooperation to support strong economic growth and to serve as the basis for the growingly important role of East Asia.

“East Asia consists of many countries with different political regimes and various levels of development, culture, social values, religion, etc. Therefore, the strengthening of regional cooperation should be based on the principle of ‘unity within diversity’,” Dung said.

Dung said the principle had shown to be effective in regional cooperation in the past year, but new requirements, formats and scope for regional cooperation needed to be defined to suite the new situation.

The point was shared by the vice chairwoman Wang of China. She said countries in Asia needed to map out strategies for post-crisis development, and stressed cooperation should go beyond the region for the global sustainability.

“In historic turning points like this, Asia and the rest of the world must work together for global peace and progress,” she said.

She added that everyone was hoping to learn from Asia, where countries provided the engine for economic recovery as they proved in past crises.

Laotian Prime Minister Bouphavanh had the same view.

The Laotian prime minister said many countries in the region had learned good lessons from the regional financial turmoil in 1997 and the global slump. “I am confident that, with national endeavors and regional cooperation, Asia will be able to galvanize economic growth and attain the goal of sustainable development.”

Myanmar’s Prime Minister Sein said to keep the momentum of strong rebounding and high economic growth afterwards, the region should co-operate and pay more attention to job security, talent attracting and environment.

Prime Minister Dung also named East Asia’s roles and responsibilities for global issues.
“With a strong shift in the balance of power and post-crisis economic power, the global roles and responsibility undertaken by East Asia need to be recognized and re-evaluated adequately.”

The president of Thailand Trade Representative, Sittheeamorn said ASEAN was ready to serve as the focal point of the world and new opportunities were opening, particularly in trade and business.

“Asia’s economic growth underlines its growing role and confirms the right for Asia,” Sittheeamorn said. He added that Asia’s huge population represented a huge market and increasing purchasing power.

Sittheeamorn said in 2025, nearly two-thirds of the world’s population would be living in Asia. The region’s share of the global gross domestic product had risen from 7.1% in 1980 to 22.8% currently.

He noted Asia continued to account for at least one-third of global trade and almost 30% of merchandise exports. Therefore, this region has become a key attraction of global investment and production.

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