Asian, European finance ministers agree to strengthen cooperation

09:01, April 19, 2010      

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Finance ministers from Asian and European countries Sunday agreed to strengthen cooperation in the aftermath of the global economic crisis.

"The crisis demonstrate we need cooperation given the global nature of the economic system," Spain's Finance Minister Elena Salgado, whose country holds the European Union's rotating presidency, told reporters after a two-day meeting of Asian and European finance ministers.

Salgado said European and Asian countries should further strengthen cooperation, especially in the economic field and in the development of an exit strategy from the global crisis.

The ministers discussed how Europe and Asia have been affected by the global downturn, acknowledging the situation in the world economy has been improving over the last months, but the strength of the recovery is uneven.

"We noted in the Asian continent, principally emerging economies, there are stronger signs of recovery. In Europe, although there are positive signs of recovery, there is certain weakness," Salgado said.

The ministers warned there is a risk that global macroeconomic imbalances widen again as the recovery gathers momentum and that this remains a challenge for global macro-economic and financial stability.

Haruhiko Kuroda, head of the Asia Development Bank, told the meeting that Asian countries had taken decisive measures, including the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization and the Asian Bond Markets Initiative, to deepen regional integration, and they would like to work more closely with European countries.

The ministers met under the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) mechanism, which has been a vital forum and the main multilateral channel for communication and dialogue between Europe and Asia since 1996.

Due to flight disruptions and airspace closures across Europe caused by a volcanic eruption in Iceland, most of the finance ministers from Asian countries failed to attend the meeting. The Chinese delegation canceled its trip since there is no flight.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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