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Asia, Europe to Make Concerted Efforts to Counter Factors Destabilizing Global Economy
    2008-06-17 00:08:52     Xinhua

Asian and European finance ministers agreed Monday to make concerted efforts to counter factors destabilizing global economy, such as surging prices for oil, food and other commodities.

According to a statement issued at the close of their meeting on South Korea's resort island of Jeju, the ministers said while they remain "positive about the long-term outlook of the global economy," they "recognized that the short-term economic prospects have weakened."

Downside risks included U.S. slowdown, tightened credit in world financial markets and "mounting inflationary pressures mainly driven by high energy and food prices," the ministers said.

The ministers stressed that both Asia and Europe are " significantly more resilient" to external shocks than a decade ago, but they can't be fully immune to global economic risks.

The finance ministers also agreed that infrastructure development plays an important role in economic growth and social development, and that microfinancing is an effective means to facilitate economic development and social unity, both in developing and advanced countries, according to the statement.

The gathering is held every two years as a part of the broader Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), a dialogue and cooperation body that brings together the 27-member European Union and 16 Asian economies.

ASEM countries represent 51 percent of the world economy as measured by gross domestic product, and account for 62 percent of global trade.



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