The rapid growth of China and India is positive for regional trade and investment in Asia despite earlier concerns that they would suck foreign investment from other Asian countries and push up commodity prices, panelists of the World Economic Forum said Wednesday.
Other Asian countries have enjoyed spillover benefits of the rise of China and India in terms of exports and a shift in productive capacity, Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Ashwani Kumar told a panel.
Panelists agreed that regional integration is successful in Asia.
Fifty-five percent of total Asian trade has been within the region, higher than the North American Free Trade Area, said Jusuf Wanandi, a researcher with Indonesia's Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Victor L. L. Chu, chairman and chief executive officer of Hong Kong's First Eastern Investment Group, said the regional groupings like the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations plus China, Japan and South Korea are progressing well.
But he expressed concern over terrorist threats, the nuclear issue of North Korea, and energy and environmental problems that have coupled rapid economic growth.
Dae-Whan Chang, a media business executive from South Korea, was also concerned about the possible negative impact of North Korean nuclear issue on regional economic development.
(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2007)