'India, China leading world recovery'
15 Nov 2009, 0301 hrs IST, AGENCIES
SINGAPORE: India, China and other Asian countries are leading the world out of the global economic crisis, business leaders said on Friday, as
trade and finance ministers pledged to make Asia-Pacific a cheaper, faster and easier region to do business in by 2015.
The biggest economic crisis since the 1930s has been the focus of this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, an annual gathering of 21 member economies from Asia and the Pacific Rim.
As spending drops and savings increase among consumers in the US, the world's biggest economy, "somebody else has to spend more somewhere else in the world. This has to be in Asia," Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong said.
"The next few years' growth will be slow worldwide but in the long term, Asia will do well," Lee said in a keynote address to a conference of business leaders. He said the demographics are favorable for growth in China and India, two rare bright spots in the world economy with growth rates of over 6%.
The International Monetary Fund said last month that Asia would grow 2.75% in 2009 and 5.75% in 2010, far outpacing the West. Lee said the growing middle class in China and India will have greater spending power amid greater urbanization and demand for infrastructure.