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Asian leaders push for stronger economic cooperation

Publication Date : 16-10-2012


The first Asian Cooperation Dialogue Summit opens today in Kuwait City to discuss measures to further economic and cultural cooperation in the region.

The summit is being attended by leaders from the region including presidents of Iran, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and Thai Prime Minister.

The talks get underway as Europe and the US are suffering an economic downturn, which observers believe will force Asian nations to bolster internal economic growth to reduce reliance on exports to global markets.

Delegates from 32 countries are attending the summit.

Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad arrived in Kuwait yesterday to join regional leaders for the summit.

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting of foreign ministers, Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, said the summit would discuss a wide range of issues including regional cooperation in food and energy security, natural disasters, tourism, education and IT development.

He said the summit marked the first decade of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue.

The first ministerial level dialogue took place in Thailand in 2002.

Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said this first summit would focus on economic and cultural matters, adding that regional political and military disputes were not on the agenda.

He said each Asian country had varying development potential so it would be good for all of them to enhance cooperation to ensure sustainable growth of the region in times of global economic instability.

Surapong said some countries had potential in energy development, which could secure a stable power supply for the region, while others had huge potential in agriculture, which could help the region to address food shortages.

According to Kuwaiti media, the ministerial level meeting agreed to support Kuwait in its bid to establish a Dialogue Secretariat Office in the country, to coordinate member countries and direct the implementation of forum agreements.


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