Outlook positive for East Asian economies

15:47, April 21, 2010      

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Industrial production in East Asian economies has returned to or exceeded pre-crisis level and conditions are favorable for speeding up economic and trade cooperation in East Asia, said Yi Xiaozhun, vice minister of Ministry of Commerce during the Ten Plus Three Media Cooperation Forum held in Tianjin, northeastern China's port city, on Wednesday.

Media leaders from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam, Japan, the Republic of Korea and China were present at the forum.

An open and stable macroeconomic development strategy is the key to success in East Asia, Yi said.

The trade volume in East Asian economies accounted for 40 percent of the world in 2009 and their foreign exchange reserves accounted for more than 60 percent of the world. The economic scale in this region will exceed the level of the euro area (12.7 trillion U.S. dollars) and will reach nearly 12.9 trillion U.S. dollars in 2010. It is expected to grow to 17.34 trillion U.S. dollars in 2014 and keep pace with the world's largest economy, Yi said, citing estimates from the South Korea Hyundai Economic Research Institute.

Yi said the cooperation between the ten ASEAN countries and China, Japan and South Korea has enabled the countries to cope successfully with the impact of financial crisis.

China-ASEAN free-trade area was implemented on January 1 and eliminated tariffs on more than 90 percent of products being traded within the region. In addition, a 10 billion U.S. dollars China-ASEAN Investment Fund began operation at the end of 2009 and China will provide 15 billion U.S. dollars of loans in the next three to five years for the ASEAN countries, Yi said.

Meanwhile, the economic and trade cooperation between China, Japan and South Korea has also made great strides, Yi said.

China has become the two countries' largest export destination and import source. Over 70 percent of businesses believe the three countries should sign a free-trade agreement as soon as possible, according to a poll in Japan and South Korea. The start session of the free-trade area joint-study agreement of the three countries will be held in South Korea next month.

By People's Daily Online


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