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Asean Faces Risks Of Lower Growth
News From : DagangHalal.com (12/1/2010)

KUALA LUMPUR: Lower global economic growth and gross development product (GDP) will be among the biggest risks facing Asean countries in 2011, says Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

"One of the biggest risks for Asean next year is that relating to (global economic) growth and GDP. We need to monitor the situation in the European Union as growth there is currently fragile. This is also the case in the United States," he said at a press conference yesterday.

"The lower growth rate and GDP will (also) affect the world," Husni said.

Philippines Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima said Asean countries needed to look for opportunities in light of the challenges ahead.

"The challenge is to be able to ignite intra Asean and Asia trade. Funds need to be directed towards productive purposes rather than speculative purposes," he said.

The seminar, themed "Discovering Tomorrow's Asean," was co-organised by the Finance Ministry and Securities Commission. Finance ministers from the respective Asean countries, as well as 500 regional and international capital market players, investors and intermediaries, atten the event.

Husni said the finance ministers had collectively affirmed that Asean as an asset class is a reality with huge potential.

"Member countries remained committed to Asean economic transformation and regulatory changes to reduce regulatory friction and the cost of doing business."

He also said private sector participation and involvement in the Asean economic integration agenda was critical for sustainable and inclusive growth in the region.

"While the International Monetary Fund's current projection for Asean's growth is 5% to 6%, we believe it can go beyond 7%. To achieve this, it is imperative that Asean constantly reforms, collectively addresses tough issues and introduces regulatory changes to stay competitive and nimble," said Husni.

- The Star Online

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