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Experts Call for Further Economic Cooperation

About 120 experts and scholars from China, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan discussed economic and trade cooperation in Northeast Asia at the Northeast Asian Development Forum, held from April 23 to 29 in Beijing.


Addressing the forum, former ROK Prime Minister Lee Han-dong said the current economy of China, Japan and ROK accounts for 20 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP). The economic and trade cooperation in Northeast Asia is in the common interest of Northeast Asian countries.


Regional economic cooperation has become a driving force of international economic integration, said Professor Jiang Zhengmo, secretary-general of the forum.


With supplementary economic conditions and vast market, Northeast Asian countries have great potential to boost their economic and trade cooperation, Jiang said.


"In current circumstances, it is urgent to speed up the economic cooperation in Northeast Asian," Jiang said.


Northeast Asian countries should enhance their cooperation in environmental protection, energy, finance and agriculture and China, ROK and Japan should increasing investment in each other's economies, said Makoto Taniguchi, former Japan's ambassador to the United Nations.


Although it is not easy to establish an economic community in this area, the discussion on the cooperation mode for further economic integration is of great significance, said Chun Jung Bae, a ROK congressman.


Northeast Asian countries should further their cooperation in both political and economic fields on the basis of mutual trust, said Chung Won Chone, former president of ROK's Kyung Hee University.


China has made remarkable progress in developing relations with neighboring countries and is willing to cooperate with other East Asian countries to develop valuable oceanic resources, said Professor Fu Zhengtai, president of the Beijing Urban University.


(Xinhua News Agency May 1, 2005)


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