5th East Asia Summit opens in Hanoi

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, October 30, 2010
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The fifth East Asia Summit (EAS) opened in Hanoi on Saturday, where leaders of ASEAN and six dialogue partners gathered to discuss strategic issues of relevance to the region.

The six dialogue partners include China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton were invited to attend this year's EAS as special guests.

Since its inception in 2005, the EAS, or the so-called ASEAN plus six, has served as a forum for dialogue on broad strategic issues of relevance to East Asia as well as other regional and global issues, with the focus on areas such as international terrorism, energy, infectious diseases, sustainable development, poverty reduction and others.

The participating leaders were expected to adopt ASEAN's proposal of bringing Russia and the U.S. into the EAS starting from next year.

Despite the expansion of membership, the member nations will maintain the EAS established objectives, principles, modalities as well as current agenda, said Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in his opening remarks at the Summit. Nguyen Tan Dung chaired this year's Summit.

He also said that the EAS mechanism will continue to serve its purpose of supporting economic recovery and sustainable development in the region.

Asian Development Bank (ADB)'s most recent forecast indicated that Asia's GDP will grow by 8.2 percent while growth for next year was expected to remain robust at 7.3 percent, Haruhiko Kuroda, president of the ADB, said at the Summit.

According to the ADB, Asia accounts for nearly 30 percent of global GDP in purchasing power parity terms, and it was expected to represent almost half of world growth both this year and the next year.

In aggregate, ASEAN members' economy expanded by 7.4 percent this year, and the growth was predicted to stay at 5.4 percent in 2011, the bank also said.

Haruhiko Kuroda also noted that developing Asian nations' strong performance were drived by robust domestic demand in China, India, Indonesia and other economies in the region.

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