Asia, EU call for quick, firm response to financial crisis

Beijing - Asian and European Union leaders on Saturday called for the international community to act quickly and decisively at a conference on responses to the global financial crisis next month in Washington.

"Lessons should be learned from the financial crisis, the responsibilities should be clarified for governments, companies and supervision respectively," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told reporters at the close of the biannual Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

Singapore's Lee sees 3-5 per cent growth for East Asia

Singapore's Lee sees 3-5 per cent growth for East Asia Singapore - East Asia should be able to achieve an annual economic growth of 3 per cent to 5 per cent considering the current global financial crisis, Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said, in press reports Saturday.

Giving the assessment, Lee was upbeat about Asian economic growth supported by China and India.

"I would say the rest of Asia might make 3, 4, 5 per cent, which isn't bad for this condition," said Lee, the first prime minister and architect of modern Singapore.

Asian, European leaders discuss climate change

Asian, European leaders discuss climate changeBeijing - Asian and European leaders began a second day of talks on Saturday with a focus on measures to fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The 16 Asian and 27 European leaders at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) planned to call for new climate change goals through 2012 to be agreed by the end of next year, according to a draft summit statement.

Asian stock markets dive on recession fears

JapanTokyo - Asian stocks, led by Tokyo and Seoul, plummeted for a third-straight day Friday on fears of a worldwide recession, defying an overnight rise on Wall Street.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost nearly 10 per cent of its value, tumbling below 8,000 for the first time since May 2003, on indications the global financial crisis was beginning to hit the nation's exporters.

EU, Asia to press Myanmar for political tolerance

ChinaBeijing - Asian and European leaders plan to urge Myanmar's military rulers to be more tolerant toward opposition political parties and release political prisoners, according to a draft summit statement seen Friday.

The leaders attending the biennial Asia-Europe Meeting would urge Myanmar to "engage all stakeholders in an inclusive political process in order to achieve national reconciliation and economic and social development."

"ASEAN plus three" to fix financial fund soon

ChinaBeijing  - A plan will be finalized "as soon as possible" for a foreign exchange reserve of 80 billion dollars for 10 South-East Asian and three East Asian nations, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said on Friday.

Speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the opening of a summit of Asian and European leaders, Bolkiah said there was "fear of economic meltdown" that was "compelling us to address this issue immediately."