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Monday, 29 October, 2001, 07:29 GMT
Recession dominates Asia summit
President Arroyo
Keynote speaker Philippines President Gloria Arroyo
Damian Grammaticas

Business and political leaders from across Asia have gathered in Hong Kong to look at ways of tackling economic recession following the terrorist attacks on the United States.

They are attending the World Economic Forum's 10th East Asia economic summit.

Their discussions have been given added urgency by the events in America.

There is a consensus that Asia has been seriously affected by the fallout from the attacks

Before the attacks on Washington and New York, the 800 senior businessmen and politicians expected that they would be meeting to address an economic downturn.

But their agenda has been changed. Top now is the issue of recession and how to regain stability and growth in Asia.

There is a consensus that Asia has been seriously affected by the fallout from the attacks.

Trade figures

Some economies like Singapore and Taiwan are already in recession; others like Hong Kong are teetering on the brink of one.

Trade statistics released at the end of last week show Hong Kong's exports in September fell by more than 10% compared with last year.

China's continued growth is the only bright spot in the prevailing gloom, and there is a sense that Asia in some ways is an economic hostage - that the United States must show signs of recovery and Japan must carry out major reforms before things will improve for the region.

Among those attending the three-day event organised by the World Economic Forum are political leaders such as the president of the Philippines, Gloria Arroyo, trade and finance ministers from China, Korea, Japan and Hong Kong and the heads of many of Asia's biggest companies, such as Japan's electronics maker Sony, the Philippines' Ayala corporation and Malaysia's Petronas.

See also:

10 Sep 01 | Business
Your views: What's a recession?
19 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Apec overshadowed
31 Aug 01 | Business
Hong Kong recession fears grow
21 Aug 01 | Business
Hong Kong warns on economy
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