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ADB official urges Asian integration to tackle challenges
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Asian countries should integrate to tackle the downside risks and policy challenges they face, said a leading Asian Development Bank (ADB) official.

ADB Vice President Lawrence Greenwood made the comment on Wednesday as he addressed a forum on Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation in Beihai, a port city in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Greenwood mentioned several risks: a sharper than expected slowdown in the United States and other developed economies, global financial instability and rising inflation.

"We estimate that a one percent reduction in U.S. growth will translate into a 0.5 percent drop in aggregate growth in Asia," said Greenwood. He added that rising inflation might be the biggest risk for Asia at present.

He said growth in Asia's emerging economies would slow this year from 2007. Overall, growth for such economies would be about 7.6 percent, with China expanding about 10 percent.

The two-day forum opened on Wednesday. Pan-Beibu economic cooperation involves seven countries: China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei.

(Xinhua News Agency July 31, 2008)

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