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World Economic Forum on East Asia to Focus on Asian Leadership
Source: news.xinhuanet.com
Source Date: Thursday, June 03, 2010
Created: Jun 07, 2010

The upcoming 19th World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia will be under the theme "Rethinking Asia' s Leadership Role," organizers said here at a press conference on Thursday. The conference, running from June 6 to 7 in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh City, will attract more than 400 leaders from politics, business, academia and civil society from over 50 countries and regions, according to the press conference jointly held by WEF and Vietnamese Foreign Ministry.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will deliver a keynote speech at the opening ceremony. The ceremony will witness the presence of foreign leaders including Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Lao Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh, Myanmar Prime Minister, U Thein Sein and Vice Chairwoman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Wang Zhizhen.The opening ceremony will be chaired by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum.

"The East Asia conference is a regional event of WEF except annual Davos," said Susant Palakurthi Rao, Head of Asia for World Economic Forum at the press conference."Asia is rebounding very quickly from the financial crisis and undoubtedly has a head-start on the global economy recovery. By holding the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Vietnam, we will be in a country that exemplifies the dynamism of this region," said Rao. "This is an important opportunity to explore Asia's leadership agenda and form a regional response to global challenges," said Rao. Doan Xuan Hung, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam said diverse discussion model of WEF on East Asia will be an ideal platform for Vietnam and other countries to share with participants the practices and development orientation in the recovery process of regional and world economy. he WEF on East Asia this time will focus on a number of interesting topics during the two-day conference, said the organizers.

Participants will discuss in a session of "countdown to regional integration". The ten-member group Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has five years to go in realizing the target of economic integration. The unified ASEAN may have potential to rival the BRICs in terms of economic competitiveness thanks to its market of 580 million people and a GDP of over 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars. The WEF on East Asia will also include a session on climate change and food security in Southeast Asian region, whose rice and wheat production are forecast to fall by more than 40 percent by 2050 due to climate change, according to WEF figures.

Financial cooperation in Asia will be also high on the 19th WEF on East Asia's agenda. Asia's lowly leveraged banks have proven far more resilient than their western counterparts in the aftermath of the global economic crisis. How is coordinated monetary policy such as the Chiang Mai Initiatives strengthening Asia's global financial leadership? Megacities -- the making of sustainable marketplaces of the future will be a focus of the conference. Southeast Asia has one of the world's fastest urbanization rates at 3.1 percent annually. Eleven of the world's 19 magacities are in Asia.
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