Asian economic integration needs 50 years

BEIJING - Asian nations will need at least 50 years to complete economic integration because of a wide variation of economic and social conditions, state media on Saturday quoted the head of the Bo’ao Forum for Asia as saying.



By (DPA)

Published: Sat 7 Apr 2007, 5:41 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:04 PM

‘Unlike European Union members, Asian countries have very different historical and cultural backgrounds, economic development and value systems,’ the China Daily newspaper quoted Bo’ao Secretary- General Long Yongtu as saying.

Instead of seeking immediate unification of currency policies, which often symbolizes economic integration, Asian countries should first increase cooperation in infrastructure and personnel exchanges, Long said.

A free-trade area set up by China and East Asian nations was the ‘first step towards integration’, he said.

Long was speaking ahead of the sixth annual Bo’ao forum, which is scheduled from April 20-22 in China’s southern island province of Hainan.

The forum has already ‘played a unique role’ in facilitating economic integration of Asian countries, he said.

This year’s forum will focus on innovation and sustainable development, Long was quoted as saying.

Topics will include sustainable social and economic development, the impact of growth and innovation on specific industries, corporate social responsibility, and ‘green agendas’, he said.

The Bo’ao forum has been held annually in Hainan since 2002.

Its founders hope it will evolve into an Asian version of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


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