Global financial crisis tops Asia forum discussion (Lead)

October 16th, 2008 - 6:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Astana, Oct 16 (IANS) The global financial crisis and dearer fuel and food items were among the top issues discussed in a pan-Asia ministerial forum in this capital city of Kazakhstan Thursday, as worried member states said concerted cooperation was needed to deal with the situation.The seventh Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) meeting opened amid worries over the financial meltdown and Iran blamed the US for the crisis that has hit markets the world over.

“The global financial meltdown has been caused by a superpower and unfortunately the world is paying for it,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said as he addressed the ACD conference in this hi-tech city.

“The US’ ambitious policies that were doomed to fail are the main causes of the financial crisis,” he said.

Advocating an overhaul of global industrial and banking sectors, the Iranian minister told representatives of Asian governments that “justice-based ways and means could save us from the crisis”.

Earlier, welcoming ministers and diplomats from 31 Asian countries, Kazakhstan Foreign Minister M. Tazhin also called for coordinated measures from Asian countries to correct the worsening financial situation.

“The world situation in the market of energy equally causes concern. We have approached to such a stage where recent jump of the prices has caused sharp falling demand and decrease in economic activity. The urgent coordinated measures to correct the situation are required (from) Asian countries,” Tazhin said.

The day-long meeting expressed serious concern over the impact of global financial crisis on Asian economies and stressed the need for joint efforts to address the issue by “coordination in a concerted manner through balanced improvement of global financial institutions in Asia”.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the Asian region had a role to play in solving world problems.

Lavrov said the world was gripped by the crises that “stress the necessity to promote collective methods of solution of world problems on the basis of possession of equal rights, mutual respect of interests and recognition of variety of models of development”.

“ACD is an important part of developments in regional cooperation. This young dialogue structure is at the stage of organisation,” the Russian minister said.

Amongst the issues discussed at the meet are the energy and food crises, development of an international transport corridor and initiating a common financial management in the region.

The Indian Ambassador in Astana, Ashok Sajjanhar, said the global food crisis was man-made and needed to be tackled by close cooperation among Asian states.

Sajjanhar proposed to hold a track-II ACD think tank meeting in India in 2009. The proposal was welcomed by member states.

The ACD was formed in June 2002 in Thailand to build links in the region by incorporating every country and form a community to consolidate strengths and competitiveness of the continent by maximising the diversity and rich resources in Asia.

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