Saturday, October 25, 2008

Indian PM in Asia-Europe summit

Manmohan Singh arrives in Beijing
Mr Singh is expected to meet a number of world leaders on the sidelines

India is due to make its debut at the highest level at an Asia-Europe meeting where the global economic crisis is expected to dominate the discussions.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has arrived in Beijing to join leaders of 44 countries at the weekend for the seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

Mr Singh will meet a number of world leaders on the sidelines of the summit.

Climate change, trade, energy and food security are also expected to be on the summit agenda.

Mr Singh arrived in Beijing after a three-day official visit to Japan.

It is still unclear whether Mr Singh would formally meet Pakistani PM Yousuf Raza Gilani, who is also attending the summit.

Mr Singh told reporters in Tokyo that the global financial crisis had revealed the vulnerability of global finance.

"The crisis has choked credit flows and predictably spilled over to the stock market. We have to prevent the liquidity crisis from becoming a crisis of confidence in the international monetary and financial system," he said.

'Timely'

The EU Commission president Jose Manuel Barros has said the bloc must achieve "unprecedented" co-operation with Asia to resolve the economic crisis.

"The present gathering could not be more timely," Mr Barros told reporters in Beijing. "We face challenges which don't respect any borders.

"No-one in Europe or Asia can seriously pretend to be immune. We are living in unprecedented times, and we need unprecedented levels of global co-ordination."

Mr Barroso said the world needed Asia - particularly China, India and Japan - to "be on board".

"It's very simple: we sink together or we swim together."

Mr Barroso also said the situation was "a great opportunity for China to show a sense of responsibility".

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