ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Asia-Pacific-Partner for a Common Future
The Crisis as an Opportunity –
Possibilities for Closer Cooperation between Europe and Asia
High level panel organized by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
and InWEnt – Capacity Building International, Germany in cooperation with the Federal
Ministry of Economics and Technology and the Senate Chancellery Berlin
October 7, 2009 in Berlin, Germany
(Agenda as of 29.9.2009)
The last months have shown the close relationship of all parts of the global economy. Far from following independent growth paths, the financial crisis demonstrated the existence of one global economic cycle as well as a strong bond between the financial and the real sectors in all parts of the globe. As a consequence, initial shocks to finance reverberated through global production networks. The outlook for trade remains dim.
Successful efforts to react jointly and swiftly to the crisis, such as using the G 20 framework to create new institutions for crisis management and future crisis prevention in the financial sector and the setup of a specialised UN task force, have demonstrated the general commitment to a collective response. However, recent WTO findings indicate a growing risk of trade restrictions. This underlines the necessity of promoting efforts to strengthen co-operation and internationally co-ordinated action to meet global challenges.
Several European countries were severely hit by the consequences of the economic crisis. Germany is one of them. The same applies to a number of Asian economies. The crisis has not only affected the financial sector in terms of access to credit and diminishing capital flows such as FDI, but has had great bearings on many real economies as well. China has to cope with a dramatic fall in export earnings, Bangladesh and the Philippines suffer the consequences of disinvestment in manufacture, and India has to cope with a large reflux of migrant labour from the Gulf States. The region is home to more than half of the world’s poor, who will suffer the most from the adverse impacts of the ‘triple F (finance, food, fuel)’-crisis. Accordingly, the need for adequate and rapid policy measures on national, regional, and global levels is obvious.
Looking at Asia from a European perspective, a kind of general optimism nonetheless prevails. It is widely expected that emerging economies in Asia have the potential to effectively contribute to global economic recovery. Indonesia was the third fastest growth country in G 20 after India and China. There is some expectation that the vast economic recovery programme put in place in China will not only stimulate national growth, but also regional and global development. India can expect a slowed but sustained growth of around 7 % for 2009, while growth forecasts for China seem to be reapproaching the 8% margin again.
Events of the last months have shown that a comprehensive crisis like the current one can stimulate but also threaten regional integration efforts. The EU, or rather the Euro-zone, will be tested in its ability to stay together not only in good, but also in bad times. The ASEAN (plus 3) has shown an unexpected aptitude for generating innovative instruments to fight the financial crisis. These mechanisms might well develop into the germ of a future autonomous Asian Monetary Fund.
An important part of ongoing regional integration efforts in Asia is a strengthened ASEAN that cooperates closely with its regional neighbours and its global partners, including the EU. It can serve as a hub not only to strengthen economic co-operation and trade, but also to initiate debates on strategic challenges such as integrating the prevailing export-led growth model with more ‘green’ and ‘inclusive’ options.
A conclusive set of jointly agreed objectives for the political agenda, starting with growth and development and further including trade and environmental issues, will be needed to tackle the difficult years lying ahead for Europe and Asia. Faced with the prospect of a prolonged global increase in unemployment, poverty and inequality, and the continuing collapse of enterprises, co-operative action cannot be disposed of and needs to be actively pursued.
The meeting will revolve around four substantial questions:
2. What can be done to strengthen regional co-operation and integration in Asia and Europe under difficult global economic circumstances?
3. How can European-Asian co-operation on current global challenges such as slowed growth, rising unemployment, jeopardized trade, and climate change be encouraged?
4. How can German development co-operation contribute to policy formulation and extended cooperation in these areas?
Should you require further information regarding the programme, please contact the senior project manager Mrs. Ina Dettmann-Busch who will be happy to answer any question you may have. Email: email@example.com Tel: 49 (0) 30 43 996 - 222; Fax: 49 (0) 30 43 996 – 336