Asean countries, neighbours vow joint efforts on financial crisis

October 24th, 2008 - 11:59 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Oct 24 (DPA) Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and its three neighbours have promised joint efforts to combat the global financial crisis and maintain regional economic stability.Chinese premier Wen Jiabao chaired the meeting of leaders of the 10-member Asean plus China, Japan and South Korea, often called Asean plus three.

The 13 Asian leaders held an open discussion on “issues of common concern, especially the financial crisis and its influence on East Asia,” host nation China said.

“They expressed their willingness to enhance coordination and cooperation and to make joint efforts to prevent and withstand the crisis in a bid to maintain economic stability,” the Chinese government reported on the official website of the Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem).

Officials said the 13 leaders had agreed to hold a technical working group next month in the Philippines to discuss details to be presented to the Asean summit in Thailand in December.

Thai media reported earlier that Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat planned to propose that the ASsean plus three group set up a $350-billion reserve fund, but it was not immediately known if Somchai had made the proposal.

A total of 16 Asian leaders and 27 leaders of European Union (EU) nations are in Beijing to attend the seventh biannual Asem summit on Friday and Saturday.

The Asem summit will also focus on the financial crisis and discuss measures to combat climate change caused by global warming.

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