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Governments' Rescue
Special> Global Financial Crisis> Governments' Rescue
UPDATED: October 25, 2008  
Confidence Vital to Weather Crisis
Beijing is hosting the summit of 45 European and Asian countries to discuss the global downturn, climate change and international security

President Hu Jintao and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy lead other members representing Asian and European countries into the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for the Asia-Europe Meeting group photo on Friday.

Confidence and concerted efforts are what the international community needs now to counter the ongoing financial crisis, President Hu Jintao said on Friday.

He made the remarks while addressing the opening ceremony of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

Hu said the financial crisis triggered by the US subprime mortgage crisis had had a serious impact on economic development and people's livelihoods around the globe.

"At this crucial moment, confidence is more important than anything else. Only with strong confidence and concerted efforts can we weather the crisis," he said, calling for better coordination among nations.

China appreciates and supports the positive measures taken by relevant countries in response to the financial crisis, he said.

"We hope those measures will produce the desired results soon."

On China's part, Hu said the country has made active efforts to the best of its ability, citing recent measures to stabilize the country's domestic financial system and increase liquidity in the financial markets.

"A healthy Chinese economy is itself an important contribution to global financial stability and economic development," he said.

The country will take a responsible attitude and work together with the rest of the world to maintain the stability of global economy, he said.

Beijing is hosting the summit of 45 European and Asian countries to discuss the global downturn, climate change and international security.

The leaders' meeting came at the end of another volatile week in world markets, with China's benchmark stock exchange ending at its lowest level for two years and its commodities markets battered by heavy selling.

Global markets plunge

Global stock markets plunged again on Friday to their lowest in five years and major currency rates gyrated wildly on intense concern about a worldwide recession, corporate damage and fragile emerging markets.

European shares lost more than 8 percent and Japan's Nikkei tumbled almost 10 percent.

US stocks plummeted at the opening bell on Friday as investors dumped stocks on fears that the global economy was in the throes of recession. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 398.08 points, or 4.58 percent, at 8,293.17.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 8.3 percent to 12,618. Markets in India, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines were also down sharply as investors bailed from emerging markets to cut their exposure to risky assets and meet redemption needs at home.

"The global financial crisis has been constantly spreading and worsening, creating a severe shock to global economic growth," Premier Wen Jiabao told the meeting.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said at the summit that European leaders would call on Asian support when leaders meet at a financial summit due to be held in Washington next month.

"Europe would like Asia to support our efforts, and we would like to make sure that on Nov 15 we can face the world together and say that the causes of this unprecedented crisis will never be allowed to happen again," he told the ASEM summit.

"If we manage to make sure this is done, maybe this crisis will go down in history as the day on which we managed to enter the 21st century and start resolving this crisis."

Hu said cooperation and dialogue between Asia and Europe was even more important in such uncertain times.

"We should embrace an open attitude and make full use of our strong economic complementarities to deepen existing cooperation."

This is the largest gathering of leaders under the ASEM since its inception in 1996.

Among the delegates are Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, President of the Republic of Korea Lee Myung-bak and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

The ASEM has 45 members and represents more than 50 percent of the world's gross domestic product.

(China Daily via Xinhua/Agencies October 25, 2008)

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