The seventh Asia- Europe summit has opened in Beijing with western countries turning to China for an economic fix. The gathering of leaders from 43 countries is taking place against a grim financial backdrop. It’s likely to march through the agenda of economic co-operation and climate change at a quick pace as the world’s markets are desperate to see something positive emanating from the forum. China which is fast becoming the Asian economic power house is the world’s largest holder of foreign currency and Europe wants it to get more involved in combating the global financial crisis.
It is clear that Asia’s leaders are keen to be part of a world wide solution. They are stressing it is not just a US- European problem – cuts in consumer demand are badly effecting the export markets of Japan, India and other manufacturing countries. But unlike Europe’s co-ordinated effort, Asian governments have for the most part limited their intervention to cutting interest rates and guaranteeing bank deposits.