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Asia Must Shift Focus To Domestic Demand: Ex-Vice Foreign Min Nogami

Friday, May 22, 2009

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Asian countries should shift from export-focused growth strategies to those supported by domestic demand, Yoshiji Nogami, president of the Japan Institute of International Affairs, said at The Future of Asia forum here Thursday.

Many Asian countries have built up significant amounts of foreign currency reserves in the wake of the regional currency crisis of 1997-1998 but have failed to cultivate sufficient domestic demand, said the former vice foreign minister.

China has not built an adequate social safety net, including unemployment and healthcare insurance, he added. Falling birthrates and aging societies are common problems in many Asian countries, and a sufficient social security system needs to be built to boost people's purchasing power, Nogami said.

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.