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02 / 07 / 2004
Emil Salim: “Europe needs to open its eyes and help us grow”

The evening session of the Dialogue East-West dealt with culture and socio-economic models in Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Professor at the University of Indonesia and former minister of demography and environment, Emil Salim, said the main problems that affect today’s society are the degradation of the environment and increasing poverty. Salim explained that state policies have not had this in mind and the market has failed. Salim said that the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the American Trade Department have too much influence. “The governments wanted to control the macro economy and opted for privatization and forgot about sustainable development and social aspects.”

Salim expressed the need “to give civil society responsibility and for a balance between man and society and man and the environment.” Salim said that the measures taken in the West and the East must be different because the societies have different needs. Salim called for the West to open its eyes “in order to make the East grow so that it can be a global economic motor.”

The former director for Asia of the World Economic Forum, Frank Jürgen Richter, explained different economic models including the Anglo-Saxon and Asian. The first being an interventionist model based in the private sector and investments in order to maintain competitiveness, while the Asian model is characterized by fomenting exportations and the production of national goods. Richter thinks that in all the models inconveniences have come up and proposed a model network. “Globalization is not coco-colalization without denationalization.” Richter explained that this model is based their efforts on a wide vision of development in the different sectors. “It’s important that this be a collective concern; we must defend multilateralism in making decisions.”

The project director of PNUD for Mercosur, Carlos Moneta, spoke of the growing closeness between Asia and Latin America He said, “Latin America has a lot to learn from Asia in terms of history and strategic construction and Asia has a lot to learn from Latin America in terms of improvisation, creativity and innovation.”

Moneta explained that the integration projects carried out by Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Chile and Korea, Japan and Mexico. Moneta highlighted the process of self-affirmation and interregional integration in Asia. The union between the two zones “can help in order to have more autonomy from the United States and so that there is a recuperation of leadership and orientation.”

Mario Artaza, executive director of APEC, spoke in detail about the organization’s projects. He explained that the projects are carried out on many levels, including those dealing with finances, sustainable development, transportation and women. Artaza explained that the objectives of the APEC are tariff discrimination, the suppression of trade obstacles and obtaining the benefits of liberalization. “We are making a big effort to bridge the East and the West, and exports, investments and jobs have increased considerably.” As part of their efforts to encourage social cohesion APEC aims to prevent terrorism.

General director of the Asem-5 process, Nguyen Dang Quang, explained the necessities for peace and cooperation in the world. Quang said that globalization is affected by extreme threats like terrorism and milder threats like poverty, pobreza, la displacement and contagious diseases. Quang said that, “cooperation between countries is necessary because no country can survive these threats on their own.”

Quang called for dialogue Asia and Europe, especially after the expansion of Europe, which “have increased opportunities and challenges for Asia.” According Luang, two areas of interest have common interests, like “constructing peace and stability.” Quang proposed discussions on three themes: the economy, social issues and policy. “Cooperation is only effective if its multilateral and thus the UN plays an important role in encouraging dialogue and cooperation.” Quang said the next ASEM meeting will be held in Vietnam next October in order to, “revitalize cooperation between Asia and Europe.”