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Thread: Economic power 'shifting to East'

  1. #1
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    Default Economic power 'shifting to East'

    October 26, 2008 Sunday

    Economic power 'shifting to East'

    Miliband underlines Asia's economic muscle as Asem leaders meet in Beijing

    London - The 43-nation Asia Europe Meeting (Asem), which wound up in Beijing yesterday, showed that economic power has shifted from the West to the East, according to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

    In the Chinese capital, leaders called for an overhaul of the world's financial mechanisms and discussed climate change and energy security.

    'I don't think it's just the fact that we are meeting in The Great Hall of the People and we listened to the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party talking about the need to prop up global capital markets that brings home to one that there is this big shift in economic power,' Mr Miliband told BBC radio from Beijing.

    'But what is also clear is that there's been an increase in economic vulnerability: the Pakistani Prime Minister (Yousuf Raza Gilani) was here talking about how his country is now threatened with an economic tsunami,' he added.

    He said the meeting produced 'renewed commitment to multilateral cooperation, deeper multilateral cooperation, above all in the area of financial regulation'.

    He acknowledged that the West had criticised Asia over its economic slump 10 years ago but said there had been no 'finger-pointing' in reverse, insisting there was a shared commitment to resolving it.

    'There are deeper imbalances in the world economy that need to be addressed and that actually are part of the global economic downturn,' he said.

    'It's not just a financial problem we've got; it's a more fundamental issue of economic imbalance.'

    The Asem leaders yesterday called for new rules for guiding the global economy and a leading role for the International Monetary Fund in aiding crisis-stricken countries.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the IMF to become a 'guard for the stability of the international finance system', and said there was unanimous agreement that it needed to take on a supervisory role.

    EU Commission president Jose Barroso told a closing news conference that participants would use the statement as the basis of their approach at the Nov 15 Washington summit of the 20 largest economies.

    'I see there is an emerging consensus that will make it possible for the Washington summit to come (up) with concrete and important decisions,' he said in an interview.

    The biennial Asem forum generally does not make decisions, and the statement issued by the leaders indicated how much the crisis in global markets had driven world opinion and institutions.

    Finance and economy ministers and central bankers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council also met for emergency talks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, yesterday to forge a common front to battle the crisis.

    The meeting came a day after Opec (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) announced that it would slash oil output by 1.5 million barrels a day from Nov 1.

    Four GCC members - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar - account for more than half of Opec's official production quota of 28.8 million bpd.

    Gulf nations are facing a sharp drop in revenues with oil prices down more than 55 per cent since July.

    AFP, AP

    Summit to tackle crisis

    A lot is riding on a summit of the world's biggest economies in Washington on Nov 15 aimed at tackling the fallout from the global financial crisis. Here are some summit facts:

    Who is taking part?

    Members of the Group of 20, which account for 90 per cent of the world's economy and about two-thirds of the global population. Its members: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the US and the European Union. The heads of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations and the Financial Stability Forum will also attend.

    Why is it taking place?

    The financial meltdown has led to calls for reform and joint action by G-20 governments. The summit was called after talks between US President George W. Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    What is on the agenda?

    # Review progress being made to address the current financial crisis.

    # Advance a common understanding of its causes.

    # Agree on a common set of principles for reform of the regulatory and institutional regimes for the world's financial sectors.

    # Appoint working groups to develop recommendations for consideration by leaders at a subsequent summit.

  2. #2
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    China's HongBao To The World
    Beijing's $877b domestic stimulus plan will have impact far beyond its border

    Beijing, China
    Tuesday, 11 november 2008

    China’s announcement of a stimulus package that will pour four trillion yuan (S$877 billion) into its economy will have repercussions far beyond its borders in a time of global crisis, say economists.

    The package calls for increased spending, subsidies, tax cuts and looser credit policies, corresponding to 7 per cent of China’s gross domestic product over the next two years.

    Said independent Shanghai-based economist Andy Xie: “The main impact will be on the commodity market, in countries like Australia and Brazil. It may help stop the price slumps.

    “It may possibly help stabilise the economies of smaller countries like South Korea, which export a lot to China.”

    China’s massive stimulus package is meant to help support global growth by boosting Chinese investment and consumer spending, Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday.

    “It addresses not only the needs of China’s development, but is also our biggest contribution to the world,” said Mr Wen.

    Reflecting China’s growing economic muscle, the package could send ripple effects across the globe, to countries as far away as those in Latin America.

    News of the stimulus plan sparked rallies in many Asian markets yesterday, with the Shanghai Composite index jumping 7.27% to 1,874.8. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index surged 5.8% to 9,081.43.

    It also lifted sagging oil prices on hopes that it would stimulate energy demand. Oil rose US$2.69 (S$4) to US$63.70 a barrel in Asian trading on the New YorkMercantile Exchange.

    Wall Street headed for a higher open yesterday. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and broader market indices rose more than 2% ahead of the opening bell in New York.

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