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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Najib : : Europe must recover fast

VIENTIANE: Europe must get its act together to recover fast from the economic and financial meltdown before it affects other parts of the world, particularly Asia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that even though Asian economies were relatively free from the problem, with most recording growth of between 5% and 7% compared to only one percent growth recorded by European nations, all countries were interdependent.

“It (the crisis) can also affect growth in Asia. We realise it is important for Europe to be able to get its act together (to tackle the problem),” he told the Malaysian media after attending the first day of the Ninth Asia-Europe Summit here yesterday.

The Prime Minister said that despite the crisis looming over Europe, there were still many things that Asia could learn such as green and bio-technologies and Europe still serves as a large market for goods from this part of the world.

“Asia hopes that economies in Europe will recover so that trade can be further enhanced. I also told the leaders during a plenary session that the Free Trade Agreement between Asean and European Union should be expedited,” he added.

Najib said Europe was of the opinion that Asia was the engine of growth and there was a need to further deepen cooperation with nations in the region.

The Prime Minister said he told the grouping's 51-member nations that free trade and liberalisation policies must be encouraged and trade protectionism must be rejected to enable economies to prosper.

He said that some of the proposals made during the Doha Round were achievable even though there were difficulties, adding that Malaysia had carried out two rounds of liberalisation in the services sector.

Lao President Choumnaly Sayasone in his address said if Asia and Europe enhanced cooperation, integration and mutual support, they would be able to explore and maximise the potentials each continent could offer.


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