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Asian, European Leaders Vow Cooperation on Financial Crisis

  • Daniel Schearf

Asian and European leaders meeting in the Chinese capital, Beijing, say current efforts to resolve the global financial crisis are not enough and that further cooperation is needed. Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing.

Leaders from more than forty Asian and European countries issued a joint statement Saturday calling for coordinated efforts to tackle the financial crisis.

The leaders pledged their support in efforts to reform the international monetary and financial systems.

The statement also called for the International Monetary Fund to play a lead role in helping economies recover.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said all countries needed to show confidence, cooperation, and responsibility to get through the crisis. He said only by cooperating would countries have the strength to overcome hardships.

He says confidence means that all countries, especially developed ones, need to quickly take decisive measures to stabilize the financial markets so as to make people more confident.

The statement came at the end of the Asia-Europe Meeting, a two-day summit held to increase understanding and cooperation between the continents.

The meeting, held every two years, is normally just a discussion platform. But the growing fall-out from the world credit squeeze has focused attention on finding solutions.

Mr. Wen said countries need to strike a balance between encouraging financial innovation and regulating the market.

He says they need financial innovation but they need financial oversight even more.

Mr. Wen said although China's economy was not severely damaged by the crisis it would likely suffer more as global demand slowed down.

The meeting also addressed energy security, poverty, and climate change, among other issues.

The president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said the financial crisis was no reason to postpone commitments made in fighting climate change.

"We need to agree a comprehensive, global agreement according to the principle of shared but differentiated responsibilities. And, I really believe that after the very good exchanges we had today that it is possible to reach that agreement," he said.

Europe and Asia make up over half of the world's growth in domestic production.

The financial crisis started in the United States when massive defaults on home loans led several major banks to close down or merge. The credit crunch slowed consumption, investment and world trade.

Washington will hold a financial crisis summit next month. Asian and European leaders meeting in Beijing said they would support the summit.


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