Pranab Mukherjee calls for better governance in Asia

May 4th, 2011 - 9:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Pranab Mukherjee Hanoi, May 4 (ANI): Emphasizing the need for regional cooperation for development, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said countries within Asia should strive for better governance and transparency in policy making.

Addressing the Governors’ Seminar on “ASIA 2050″ at the Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank (ADB) at Hanoi, Vietnam, Mukherjee said: “The Asian countries should transform their economies into knowledge and skill-based economies over the next 40 years to ensure high sustained growth.

He highlighted the need to increase the agricultural productivity by building forward and backward linkages, efficient credit delivery, water management, improved farming practices and rural infrastructure.

“Meeting the energy needs of the region will be a major challenge. Asia would have to ensure energy security by utilizing all available sources of energy including fossil fuels and renewable resources in an efficient and sustainable manner, while carefully managing climate-change issues,” he said.

Mukherjee further said: “We will need to invest much more in human resource development through higher investments in education and health so that Asia can lead in technology, innovations and be at the forefront of the knowledge curve.”

“All Asian countries need to work towards improving governance, transforming their institutions into high quality, modern institutions and apply transparency and accountability filters to domestic policy making and implementation,” he added.

He said if Asia has to reach the level of an affluent region, achieving broad-based, inclusive and sustained growth would be a paramount necessary.

“Inclusive growth is critical for a sustained assault on poverty and for containing inequality. If we fail to achieve inclusive growth, we will end up with islands of prosperity within a largely poor Asia. Equally, important is the quality of growth,” he added.

Mukherjee said that the regional cooperation has to become a major development agenda, as it has the potential to create synergies between the fast growing major economies and the neighbouring economies and push the region into a higher growth orbit.

“As the Asian economies try to rebalance growth towards internal demand, regional cooperation and integration through transport and energy connectivity could pave the way for the emergence of a vibrant regional market,” he added. (ANI)

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