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Public-Private Cooperation Needed To Link Asian Nations

Friday, May 22, 2009

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshihiro Nikai said Friday it is important to build a new scheme using private funds to realize an extensive developmental project to link East Asia, ASEAN nations and India.

The minister said at the annual Future of Asia conference here that one of the issues key to the success of the "East Asian Industrial Artery Initiative" is investment of private savings in and outside Asia to build a mechanism to maintain infrastructure that will support Asia's future.

Nikai also said nations in the area should immediately try to create a system in which the public and private sectors can work together in such areas as infrastructure development, industrial promotion, trade investment promotion by easing regulations. It is also important not to ignore environmental and energy-saving perspectives throughout those projects, he said.

Under the initiative Nikai himself advocated in August, the Asian nations aim to grow steadily by expanding demand in the area through infrastructure maintenance, promoting industry and simultaneously reducing dependency on the U.S. and Europe.

At a discussion event held after his speech, lecturers from India and Vietnam showed their support for the framework.

(The Nikkei May 22 evening edition)

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