Sustainable development needed in Asia: Chinese official
Boao (China), April 2 (IANS) Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang Monday called for joint efforts to push forward Asia's sound and sustainable development in the wake of complex global situations.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2012 annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Monday, Li said Asian countries should promote internal drivers of growth and stay open and inclusive so as to achieve sound and sustainable development.
Li said Asian countries should also go after mutual benefit and win-win results, promote solidarity and harmony and stay committed to peaceful development in order to achieve the goal, reported Xinhua.
The annual session is being attended by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Karim Masimov, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Javad Mohammadizadeh, Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.
More than 2,000 government, business and academic leaders from around the globe attended the meeting, which this year adopted the theme, "Asia in the Changing World: Moving toward Sound and Sustainable Development".
Despite global financial crisis, the Asian economy has been the first to recover, with its combined GDP currently accounting for over 30 percent of the world's total. Its contribution to global growth also surpasses 30 percent, and its late-development advantages and growth potential have become more evident, the vice premier said.
But the region's growth has been challenged by significant development gaps, worsening resource and environmental constraints and regional security and stability, and some countries also face rising pressure from economic slowdown, price hikes, and unemployment, he added.
Externally, the world economy has shown signs of recovery and growth outlook, but the underlying impacts of the global financial crisis still persist, he said.
"Intra-Asian trade accounts for over half of the region's total foreign trade...under the circumstances, Asian countries should further enhance their consultation and cooperation, push forward trade liberalisation and investment facilitation, oppose all forms of protectionism...to promote common development between Asia and the rest of the world," Li said.
China's fundamentals that help sustain stable development have not changed, Li said, saying the country's efforts to coordinate development of industrialization, urbanization, and agricultural modernisation will help sustain moderately rapid growth in the coming years and improve the quality and efficiency of growth.
Li said China is also working to improve its people's livelihood, noting that the country is currently implementing such projects as employment support, social housing, full coverage of health care and large-scale poverty alleviation, which will help raise people's income and in turn boost domestic demand.
The three-day forum, which started Sunday, focuses on three key issues this year -- exploring the root source of global economy uncertainty, seeking reform and transformation and Asia's sustainable development.
The forum introduces a wide range of topics, including eurozone debt crises, employment and growth, the reform of the international monetary system and the strategic breakthrough of Asian manufacturing.
A non-governmental and non-profit international organization founded in 2001, BFA has been committed to promoting regional economic integration and bringing Asian countries closer to their development goals.
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