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India, China leading world out of downturn

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Singapore: As trade and finance ministers at the APEC forum pledged to make Asia-Pacific a cheaper, faster and easier region to do business in by 2015, business leaders said that India, China and other Asian countries are leading the world out of the global economic crisis.

The biggest economic crisis since the 1930s has been the focus of this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, an annual gathering of 21 member economies from Asia and the Pacific Rim. "As spending drops and savings increase among consumers in the U.S., the world's biggest economy, somebody else has to spend more somewhere else in the world. This has to be in Asia," said Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. "The next few years' growth will be slow worldwide, but in the long term Asia will do well.”


He said that the demographics are favorable for growth in China and India, two rare bright spots in the world economy with growth rates of over six percent. The International Monetary Fund said last month that Asia would grow 2.75 percent in 2009 and 5.75 percent in 2010, far outpacing the West. Lee said that the growing middle class in China and India will have greater spending power amid greater urbanization and demand for infrastructure. Other business leaders at the meeting, held on the sidelines of the annual APEC forum, agreed.

"Historically, the developed economies led recoveries. This time, it's going to be the developing economies," said Dennis Nally, Global Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International. Still, while the worst is over, sustaining the recovery - and ensuring that it is balanced - remains a key challenge, APEC and business leaders said.

The week-long forum culminates in a weekend leaders' summit that will include President Barack Obama, Chinese President, Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, as well as leaders from Southeast Asia and Latin America.





























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