24 Oct : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh discussed the issue of terrorism with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani as they meet on the sidelines of the ASEM Summit in Beijing on Friday.
The two leaders also reviewed the state of the bilateral ties as Pakistani Premier assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that his country was "seriously committed" to working with India to deal with the menace.
"I had a very good meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Gilani, we reviewed the state of our relationship. We expressed happiness at the resumption of trade on the two routes in J and K," Singh told media persons after his 20-minute meting with Gilani.
On 21st October, India and Pakistan restored the cross-LoC trade by launching truck services on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalkote roads after a gap of over 60 years, scripting a new chapter in bilateral ties.
Singh also said that during their meeting Gilani told him about his county’s commitment to the success of the joint anti-terror mechanism.
"He (Gilani) assured me that they are very seriously committed to working with us to control terror. Terror is the common enemy of both India and Pakistan," the Prime Minister said.
PM blames ‘three failures’ for global financial turmoil
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday blamed "failure" of international surveillance, supervision and regulatory mechanisms for the current global financial
crisis and sought immediate "coordinated action" to restore confidence and "de-clog" the credit market.
Making an impressive debut at the seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) which formally admitted India into its fold, Singh said the current international financial crisis could be attributed to three failures.
Singh, a renowned economist who had successfully launched India’s reform process in early 90s, said the first cause was a regulatory and supervisory failure in developed countries.
"Massive failure of regulatory and supervisory mechanism has really been the reason for the present turmoil and if there had been a good regulatory mechanism, this would not have happened," Singh said.
Secondly, the crisis surfaced due to a failure of risk management in the private financial institutions and finally because of failure of market discipline mechanism, he said as the other 44 global leaders listened with rapt attention.
"The Prime Minister had in fact had the last word," N Ravi, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, told reporters while briefing about the first day’s deliberations
at the two-day summit.
Singh, during an intervention, pointed out that the resulting crisis of liquidity, accumulation of bad assets, shortage of capital and collapse of confidence threaten to spill over into the real economy of many developing nations.
This, he said, could be by way of reduced demand for exports, reduced access to trade and suppliers credits super-imposed on other crises — food and fuel price crisis
that have strained budgets and balance of payment leading to rising inflation and living costs in many developing countries.
Singh noted that the President of the World Bank has identified at least 30 countries whose balance of payments will experience a severe deterioration in the wake of
"The immediate task (is) to de-clog the credit markets the world over. Coordinated global action is essential to restore a measure of confidence in the credit market," Singh told the summit, also attended by French President Nicholas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Premier Taro Aso, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.
Singh, who has worked with institutions like IMF, said that from the stand point of developing countries, global financial institutions, particularly the IMF and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), need to put in
place ‘Exogenous Facilities’ to provide additional assistance more quickly and in large amounts, with less service conditionality and greater flexibility.
He also pointed out that globalisation without global financial governance structure can lead to severe problems as has been seen in the recent turmoil.
Further, he said the IMF should revisit the potentially powerful instrument of creating liquidity through fresh allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) in favour of
multilateral development financial institutions.
The reform of reconstruction of financial system has to be a collective international effort since borders no longer confine financial institutions or can keep out financial
turmoil, he said.
In devising a reform agenda, one must bear in mind the "wise" saying of John Maynard Keynes, a British economist, regarding the economically damaging role of excessive speculative or innovative activity, Singh said.
Singh also used the opportunity to brief the august audience on India’s economic situation. He said India’s economy is sound and is likely to grow at 7 to 7.5 per cent
and the government, since the financial crisis emerged, has injected more liquidity into the system.
Earlier ASEM Summit opened in the Chinese Capital with leaders from 45 Asian and European nations attending the meet to explore ways to restore confidence in global financial markets and avert a possible recession.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao presided over the opening ceremony of the biennial Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Wen welcomed six new members of ASEM — Bulgaria, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, Romania and the Secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Chinese President Hu Jintao, in his key-note speech, emphasised that the world can overcome the current crisis through concerted efforts.
Hu, also General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China, said Beijing appreciated and supported the positive measures taken by several countries in response to the financial crisis. "We hope those measures will produce the desired results soon."
Asia and Europe to intensify cooperation to jointly meet global challenges
He suggested Asia and Europe intensify coordination and cooperation to jointly meet global challenges, promote stability in the international energy and food markets and strengthen cooperation in disaster prevention and reduction.
Asia and Europe should also actively respond to climate change, work for the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals, promote multilateralism and the proper settlement of international and regional hot-spot issues, and advance peace and development of the world, Hu said.
The two sides should carry forward the spirit of equality, openness and inclusiveness, advocate the harmonious co-existence and mutual learning among civilisations and work together for prosperity and progress of human civilisation, the Chinese President added.
"It is an integral part of China’s foreign policy to strengthen and grow friendly relations and cooperation with countries in Asia and Europe," Hu said.
The ASEM now includes 45 members and represents more than 50 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The European side is represented by 27 European Union nations and the European Commission. The Asian members count 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus China, Japan, South Korea, India, Pakistan, Mongolia and the ASEAN Secretariat.
With the world preoccupied with the financial turmoil, the two-day summit will also draw the leaders’ attention to other topics of energy, climate change, food security and sustainable development.
Four plenary sessions are scheduled to be held during the two-day summit.
China is expected to put forward a proposal on building an eco-city network in Asia, while France, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, would present a statement on climate change.
The summit also offered host China an opportunity to boost relations with other ASEM members as the country’s top leadership was engaged in intensive one-on-one meetings on the sidelines of the major gathering of Asian and European leaders.