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Economic Globalization and Asia Forum

Asia Forum, the first international conference organization that has chosen a location in China as its permanent venue, will be inaugurated Tuesday at Boao Town, Qionghai of south China's Hainan Province.

Experts herald Asia Forum as the outcome of economic globalization and the wise choice of Asian countries in greeting the increasingly fierce international competitions in the future.

Though "Asian value," "Asian development mode" used to have created "Asian miracles," the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s has not only given a blow to the developing economy in Asia, but also sparked off retrospection about "Asia Value," "Asia Mode" and caused concern about the prospects of the entirety of Asia in the 21st century.

Economic globalization has become a trend in the world and has been accelerated in recent years. To brace for challenges from economic globalization, the pace of regionalization has also been accelerated in the world.

Along with the expansion of integration in North American Free Trade Zone and European Union, the South American Andes Commonwealth has worked out a goal of bringing about a regional common market into reality within five years.

Despite the suffering from problems such as natural disasters and tribal disputes, South African Development Commonwealth formally launched a Free Trade Zone Agreement in September last year and planned to lower tariffs on all non-sensitive commodities from states with agreement memberships to nil in eight years and fully realize free trade in the region by the year of 2012. The integration of ASEAN has been accelerating since the Asian financial crisis ended. Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Brunei had decided to establish a free trade zone with a tariff rate ranging from zero to five percent by 2002, one year ahead of the original plan.

Viet Nam, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia have also agreed to unify their grace periods of tariff cuts in 2006. Last September, ASEAN also decided to lower tariffs on all commodities produced by member states of ASEAN free trade zone to nil by the year of 2018.

Compared with regionalization in other areas, there is no organized forum institution in Asia that is directed by Asians, or is aimed at promoting exchanges and cooperation among different countries in Asia with Asia's interest and concept being taken into account.

Amid economic globalization, more and more countries feel the necessity of finding countermeasures to realize greater profits and avoid damages, and of improving Asia's overall competitive capacity by enhancing dialogues and coordination, as well as expanding regional cooperation.

Asia Forum is suggested as a fine tool to increase cooperation and dialogues, to avoid brinkmanship and poverty, to make progress with the global trend and to realize common prosperity in the region and the world at large.

With emphasis on Asia, Asia Forum will have a great number of topics to be tackled, but economic globalization will be one of the most important topics on the agenda. It will help bring about a powerful international network in Asia and offer constructive opinions and suggestions for promoting economic cooperation and exchanges among Asian countries, and the fusion of Asian and global economies.

In addition to holding regular unofficial Asian economic high-ranking and other relevant meetings, Asia Forum will also execute various kinds of suggestions, and carry out economic and social development ideas via economic, technological exchanges, international training courses, development of human resources, with the purpose of eventually advancing exchange and fusion of Asian and global economies.

(Xinhua 02/26/2001)

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