Asia leaders and international heads pledged Tuesday at the 7th East Asia Summit (EAS) to cement ties in deepening regional cooperation to better cope with the global economic downturn.
Asian nations need closer cooperation to promote regional economy, as the European debt crisis and the U.S. fiscal cliff crisis weighed on Asia's economy, said President Haruhiko Kuroda of Asia Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday.
Kuroda's idea is echoed by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei at the summit, saying ASEAN should unite on the topics of energy, environment protection, climate change, and disaster management, which are vital to the economic boom. The ideas were also echoed by Nguyen Tan Dung, the prime minister of Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, the chair of the 7th EAS, spoke highly on China's efforts in linking Asia-Pacific nations, especially in terms of the free trade, economic integration and regional peace and stability.
Besides, India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh highly hailed the EAS on Tuesday. He believed that the summit of East Asian nations is beneficial to create stronger economic ties in the Asia- Pacific area, help promote development, enhance mutual trust, reach consensus and diminish gaps among the region.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia holds similar ideas. She pointed out during the summit that ASEAN Summit and related meetings would enhance the unity in the fields of finance, education, and public health, and finally reach to the centrality in east Asia.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who showed up at the meeting instead of the President Putin, suggested the EAS nations should put more efforts on energy, food security, and infrastructure for heading to the trade integration.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said the emerging economies in Asia has turned out to be the driving forces during the current sluggish economy situation. EAS members should team up to carry out practical measures through bilateral or multilateral mechanism to strengthen the confidence toward a better world economy, which would finally help promote the free trade worldwide.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak stressed battling the climate change should be prioritized by all attending nations. Meanwhile, the cooperation on disaster management, economic centrality and curbing the ongoing global economic crisis are also the challenges facing by all EAS nations.