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World Economic Forum on East Asia opened in Indonesia

06-13-2011 08:15 BJT

JAKARTA, June 12 (Xinhua) -- The World Economic Forum on East Asia was officially opened in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta on Sunday by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in which he stressed the importance of Asian strength in helping the world in sustaining a strong and sustainable economic growth.

Yudhoyono said that Asia's moment has come with a much brighter future lying ahead. "But we cannot take these things for granted."

He suggested several ways for Asia to become a continent of the future.

First, he said, Asia must be part of the solution to address the global imbalances.

He said the world's economy cannot afford to rely on strong growth in emerging economies alone. "We need healthy growth globally, including the developed world. One way or another, we all need to make structural adjustments to correct the global imbalances. Asia -- more than any other regions -- can help achieve a strong, sustainable and balanced world economy. Asia must also lead the way to keep markets and societies open," he said.

Second, he said, Asia needs to anticipate and address the growing pressures that will come from food, energy and water insecurity.

"Of the 7 billion people that now inhabit our planet, 60 percent live in Asia. As their economies grow, they will seek and compete for finite natural resources, a pattern that in previous centuries led to wars, conquest, exploitation and untold suffering. In our time, these issues need not lead to conflict," he said.

Third, he said, Asia must do all we can to become the center of global innovation. "Technology, more than ever, will be the key driver of change in the 21st century. With all the problems of poverty, marginalization, inequity and degradation that are still prevalent throughout Asia, technology may well be the key to resolve them," he said.

Fourth, he said, Asia must tap into its best emerging resource, which is the youth. "The youth today are becoming a generation unlike any others before them. They are much more connected, more open, more creative, and more active," he said.

And the fifth, he said, Asia needs to preserve and build on what is best about Asia which is richness of diversity.

"Asia is home to the world's oldest civilizations and religions. It is also the continent with the greatest number of ethnic groups and dialects," he said.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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