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East Asia playing bigger role in global economy, Bush says
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10:42, April 19, 2009

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· Boao Forum for Asia 2009
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Former U.S. President George. W. Bush said Saturday that East Asia is playing a bigger role in global economy, and the world economic center has moved from Atlantic to Asia Pacific.

The Asia Pacific takes up 55 percent of the global economy, and it is of vital interest to stay "heavily engaged" with the countries in the region, he said at a banquet speech held during the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference 2009.

"That's why I have never missed a single APEC meeting when I was in office, because I know how important it is to the prosperity," he said.

"The global financial system does need reform, needs greater transparency," he noted.

"Accessible banking standard is needed to be in place to prevent over leverage. A better warning system is needed to be put into place to anticipate crisis," he said.

He said that 20 years ago, a meeting of G7 or G8 was enough to sort out the problems, since they comprised a large share of the global economy. But now they are no longer significantly large, so such a meeting has to expand to 20, said Bush.

"We learn lessons from the past that we are intervened in close coordination with each other," he said.

As the 43rd U.S. president, Bush spoke out the fact that he had maintained good personal relations with China. He said making friends with Chinese leaders made it easier to do diplomacy.

He said changes in China are marvelous, and to have discussions without China sitting at the table makes no sense.

He stressed the world must resist isolation and protectionism, and must resist the temptation to over-correct.

"More we interact, more quickly we can succeed," he said.

In mid-March, Bush gave his first speech after leaving office in Calgary of Canada, which stirred up a protest of 200 people and shoe throwing outside the event, according to media reports.

Source: Xinhua

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