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Asian, European business leaders pledge stronger ties amid economic uncertainty

11-05-2012 14:20 BJT Special Report:Wen Attends 9th ASEM, Visits Laos |

VIENTIANE, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- The 13th Asia-Europe Business Forum closed in the Lao capital Vientiane on Tuesday, underlining the need for the two regions to boost business ties and restore growth amid economic uncertainty.

Examining the continuing severe economic problems in Europe and Asia, panelists of the forum agreed that there was a "strong" need to cement business partnerships between the two regions in terms of trade, investment and technology and to enhance mutual understanding, according to a chairman's statement released after the forum.

In additions, three key messages produced by the forum have been proposed to a group of heads of states and governments attending the ninth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit scheduled for later Monday, said the statement.

First, it noted that a stable political, social and economic environment was needed to boost business confidence by building multilateral trade regime and resisting protectionist tendencies.

Meanwhile, ASEM governments are urged to support competitiveness of companies, particularly the small and medium- sized ones, by removing discriminatory rules and treatment and by maintaining good public and private governance.

In addition, the importance of sustainable economic development is underlined as the business sectors seek to work with governments to protect the environment and ensure food and energy security.

Under the theme of "Caring for the Earth for sustainable economic and business in Asia and Europe," the three-day event has drawn some 300 leading business representatives across the two regions.

Topics of common interest across the two regions have been discussed during the forum, including the future direction of Asia- Europe economic and business relations and their cooperative answers to the financial and economic crisis. Some of the highlighted topics center on the environmental challenges posed by economic development and the management of natural resources.

Kissana Vongsay, president of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and chairman of the forum, said in the closing remarks that the forum, the biggest economic conference Laos has hosted, helped to show the capabilities of the country which many European countries have only limited information.

He welcomed Asian and European companies to do business in the country.

The forum is created by the first ASEM Summit to strengthen economic cooperation between business sectors of the two regions. It was first convened in Paris, France, in 1996 and has since been held alternatively in Europe and in Asia.


Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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