First BIMSTEC Summit held in Bangkok
Shadow Group Aims for Asian Integration
Look East: Singapore PM to India
Asian Parliament Leaders Support Fight Against Poverty
Rise of China and India: ASEAN well placed to reap benefits
Pakistan Join ASEAN Regional Forum
India Signs MoU with Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam on EDC
ADB Explores Road Map for more Regionally Integrated in Asia
ASEAN Dialogue Partners Achieve More than Primary Objectives in Jakarta
ASEAN+3 Hold meeting in Jakarta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First BIMSTEC Summit held in Bangkok

July 31, 2004

The First BIMSTEC Summit was held in Bangkok on July 31, 2004. To begin with, the leaders of Seven Asian countries agreed upon the rearranging the acronym BIMSTEC in view of the increasing membership and areas of cooperation, Thereby, the association will now be known as the “Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation,” or BIMSTEC for short.

The leaders adopted a Summit Declaration in which they urged further progress in ongoing areas of cooperation, including timely completion of the FTA negotiations, development of transportation infrastructure, interconnection of energy grids, enhancement of tourism and business travel, and people-to-people exchanges.
In this Retreat, they also paid special attention to poverty reduction and counter-terrorism.
They underscored the importance of empowerment, including through education and self-employment, rural development, access to credit, and making poor people bankable. Recognising the need to improve health care and the involvement of the private sector, the leaders agreed that these experiences will be taken up at the Ministerial Meeting on Poverty Eradication to be hosted by Bangladesh.

The Meeting welcomed India’s proposal to host a BIMSTEC Working Group meeting on Terrorism, which would involve senior officials with decision-making power. The Working Group would coordinate work in such areas as intelligence and capacity building.

Emphasising on the importance of protecting biodiversity and traditional knowledge, in particular traditional medicine. The leaders to set up a network of national centers of excellence to discuss ways to promote traditional medicine and generic drugs, so that the poor would have access to affordable treatment. The Meeting welcomed Thailand’s offer to serve as lead country on this area of cooperation.

Bhutan’s offer to host a Ministerial Meeting on culture was also welcomed. The Leaders also discussed practical ways to promote BIMSTEC as a single tourism destination. In this connection, India offered to host a Roundtable and Workshop of tourism ministers and industry representatives, so that they can work out concrete ideas to highlight the BIMSTEC area’s historical and cultural attractions.

India also proposed to host a Ministerial Conference on Energy Cooperation in 2005, which was also welcomed by the other leaders at the summit. Thailand offered to extend a credit line on account trade for BIMSTEC members to buy agricultural products from Thailand. The size of the credit line would depend on each country’s need.
The Leaders of the seven BIMSTEC concluded by agreeing to task their Foreign Ministers with the responsibility of coordinating overall BIMSTEC cooperation. The next BIMSTEC summit will be held in India in the year 2006.

(Source: Ministry of External Affairs, Thailand, Press Release)

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`Shadow' Group Aims for Asian integration

Joyce Huang
The Taipei Times
July 13, 2004

The Asian Shadow Regulatory Committee yesterday held an inaugural meeting in Taipei. The group aims to advance financial integration in the Asia-Pacific region.

The committee, composed of 14 independent experts on economic and financial policy issues from 10 Asian countries, the US and Europe, reached a resolution yesterday that included recommendations on how to pave the way to the long-term realization of an Asian bond market initiative.

....The committee yesterday stressed the importance of a formal policy dialogue among Asian economies for cooperation and coordination of fiscal, monetary and exchange-rate polices and capital-account and trade liberalization.

Click here to read further http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2004/07/13/2003178844

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Look East: Singapore PM to India

The Financial Express
July 10, 2004

Singaporean prime minister Goh Chok Tong has said that comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA) and free trade agreements (FTAs), which India is currently negotiating with Singapore, Thailand and the Asean, will become the stepping stones for the evolution of an Asian economic community.

.....The visiting leader asked New Delhi to “look east” more. Mr Goh is the first head of government to visit India after the UPA government assumed office and was looking forward to enhancing bilateral relations during his stay here.“The discussions will focus on how to engage India with Singapore, Asean and east Asia,” he said after being accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, external affairs minister Natwar Singh, home minister Shivraj Patil and minister of state for external affairs E Ahamed.

Click here to read further http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=63237

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Asian Parliament Leaders Support Fight Vs Poverty


Manilla Bulletin Online
July 6, 2004

Leaders of 37 Asian parliaments yesterday identified poverty and international terrorism as the most crucial concerns of the region that lawmaking bodies should tackle with immediacy. This was revealed yesterday by House Speaker Jose de Venecia, who presided over the Executive Council Meeting of the Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace (AAPP) at the Manila Hotel.

In the meeting, AAPP leaders vowed to invite the new legislative assembly of Iraq to join the organization as part of its bid to pursue peace initiatives among Asian and Pacific nations. It also approved the application for membership of Palau, United Arab Emirates and Libya. The Philippine proposal for the creation of an Asian parliament also received support. De Venecia said the results of the feasibility study on the proposal will be submitted by the Philippines a few days before the AAPP holds its next general assembly in Islamabad, Pakistan in November. The various proposals approved yesterday will be included as part of the agenda in the Pakistan conference.

De Venecia said that in the past four years, the AAPP was transformed into a cohesive and united force for stability and peace in Asia. "In this cause we have our parliaments – our budget- and law-making powers – as our greatest weapon to attack the root causes of poverty, fight terrorism and end the cycle of senseless violence it has bred,’’ the House leader declared at the gathering at Manila Hotel’s Centennial Hall. De Venecia said the next AAPP General Assembly will have the theme: "Vision for Asia: Peace and Development Through Inter-parliamentary Cooperation and Dialogue.’’

Click here to read further http://www.mb.com.ph/MAIN2004070613462.html

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Rise of China & India : ASEAN well placed to reap benefits

The Nation
July 5, 2004

The rise of China and India will help create prosperity in other countries throughout the region, especially in ASEAN, which is well placed to reap the benefits of being the de facto hub among China, India and Japan, said a panel of experts.

During the International Conference on Competitiveness, hosted by the National Economic and Social Development Board and The Nation last week, Ramkishen Rajan of the University of Adelaide’s School of Economics said the trade figures showed that ASEAN trade with China and India was fast increasing.

Click here to read further http://www.nationmultimedia.com/page.arcview.php3?clid=6&id=101865&date=2004-07-05&usrsess=1

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Pakistan Joins ASEAN Regional Forum

Pakistan News Service
July 3, 2004

Pakistan here Friday joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum as its
full member. "It is a recognition of the fact that Pakistan is playing an important role not just in the Islamic world, but also in promoting regional and international peace," commented Foreign Minister, Khurshid M. Kasuri,
who represented Pakistan at the 11th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

Talking to APP he said the historic admission to ARF has come after eight years, as it had been on the agenda since 1996. Pakistan's admission into ARF and Commonwealth also proves that Pakistan is conducting a successful foreign policy and "the international community recognizes the responsible role that the Government of Pakistan is playing towards the promotion of regional and international peace," Kasuri said.

Click here to read further http://www.paknews.com:80/main.php?id=5&date1=2004-07-03

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India signs MoU with Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam on EDC

The Hindu
July 2, 2004

India today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam on Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC), a project taken up by New Delhi to set up centres to provide entrepreneurship skills to people in the South-East Asian countries. The MoU was signed here by External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh, and his counterparts from Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.

Click here to read further http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/001200407021926.htm

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ADB Explores Road Map for more Regionally integrated Asia

Xinhua Online
July 2, 2004

Asia's regional cooperation and integration can produce win-win results in both the quantity and quality of economic growth, thus helping reduce poverty throughout the region, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Thursday.

The long-term vision is that of a closely integrated, prosperous, poverty-free and peaceful Asia," ADB President Tadao Chino told a conference of regional policymakers and experts at the ADB headquarters in Manila.

Organized by ADB's Regional Economic Monitoring Unit (REMU), the "High-Level Conference on Asia's Economic Cooperation and Integration" examines evolving cooperation trends within and between Asia's subregions, and discussions centered on developing a long-term vision and road map for a more integrated and prosperous Asia.

Click here to read further http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-07/01/content_1562222.htm

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ASEAN, dialogue Partners Achieve More than Primary Objectives in Jakarta

Xinhua Online
July 2, 2004

The 37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting in Jakarta achieved more than its primary objectives after the ministers concluded Friday fruitful talks among themselves and with their dialogue partners. The meeting has laid a milestone for the envisioned ASEAN Community targeted for 2020 following approval Wednesday of the plans of actions for the ASEAN Security Community (ASC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC). The ASC and the ASCC are two of the three pillars agreed upon by ASEAN members last October ,in Bali, to bring ASEAN into a fully integrated region, with the ASEAN Economic Community being another pillar.

The dialogue partners lent their support for the establishment of the ASEAN Community, which they believe, will bring peace, stability in the region and in turn will also contribute to peace and stability in the whole Asia-Pacific region. The series of Jakarta meetings culminated Friday when ministers or representatives of ASEAN countries and the dialogue partners met in the 11th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to share views on political and security issues at regional and global levels.

Click here to read further http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-07/02/content_1566517.htm

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ASEAN+3 Hold Meeting in Jakarta

Vietnam News Agency
July 1, 2004

Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and three East Asian countries, including China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK), began an annual meeting in Jakarta on Thursday, following the 37th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM). At the meeting, the foreign ministers discussed regional and international issues of common concern, especially the recent six-party talks over the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula and the power transfer in Iraq. They also reviewed the implementation of the ASEAN+3 meeting's decisions and the East Asia consultative group's recommendations and exchanged ideas on East Asia cooperation.

Click here to read further http://www.vnagency.com.vn/NewsA.asp?LANGUAGE_ID=2&CATEGORY_ID=33&NEWS_ID=106810

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