VP calls for similar platform to create Asian community

Tokyo (Antara News)</b> - Visiting Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla on Thursday called for a similar platform to create a democratic and economically transparent Asian community.

"In Asia, sooner or later, the democratization process will certainly work in line with the economic progress," he said at the 12th International Conference on the Future of Asia here.

Kalla was the last to deliver speech on the first day of the annual conference held by Japan`s leading newspaper Nikkei (Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc.).

Also addressing the annual gathering on Thursday were Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Singapore Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Kalla said the most crucial problems faced by Asia to create an Asian community was how to improve the Asian economy to reduce disparities among Asian countries.

"Relations among Asian countries must be based on mutual needs because each of them has own advantages," he said.

Citing an example, he said Indonesia now had good relations with Japan, particularly in the economic field.

Indonesia, he added, would always need technological capability, market, skill and financial capability from Japanese banks, in addition to good networks with Japanese companies.

"On the other hand, (Indonesia`s) natural resources, energy, and labor as well as industrial market certainly have significant meaning for Japan," he said.

Cooperation should not merely be measured by means of statistical data but most importantly, the quality of the cooperation for the benefit of the two countries` peoples, he said.

The same was also true with Indonesia`s economic relations with China, he said adding the relations had had a positive impact on the creation of new market for industrial goods.

In the past two years, two-way trade between Indonesia and China was expected to reach US$20 billion, he said.

To ensure that the dream of an Asian community would come true more quickly, economic disparities among Asian nations should not be too big, he said.

He said the economic growth of Asian countries was different from one to another. After all, they must contribute to the creation of an Asian community.

"Only through joint contributions could we bring our hope of creating a better Asia into reality," he said.(*)
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