Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Arroyo proposes special ASEAN summit in Beijing

AFP , MANILA

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday proposed a special summit of ASEAN leaders and dialogue partners China, Japan and South Korea to tackle the global financial crisis.

The summit could take place on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Summit (ASEM) to be held in Beijing next week, which would also be attended by ASEAN leaders, she said.

A similar financial crisis rocked the Asian region in mid-1997 and many ASEAN economies took years to recover.

“I propose for ASEAN Plus Three to convene on the sidelines of the ASEM summit in Beijing next week to tackle the impact of the current credit crunch,” Arroyo said in a statement.

“I am asking developing and emerging economies to unite and come up with a coordinated approach to cushion the impact of a collapse of highly developed economies,” she said.

Arroyo said she would also urge the G7 club of rich nations to “consider the interests of the developing countries in their plan to prevent a worldwide economic meltdown.”

ASEAN finance ministers last week said the region’s economic fundamentals remained sound, although growth could be affected because of the financial crisis this year.

They also agreed to establish a new macroeconomic and finance surveillance office at the bloc’s Jakarta secretariat to monitor stability in the region and help direct emergency liquidity funds.

The 10-nation ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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