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ECONOMY

Premier Wen Jiabao calls for clear euro-zone debt plan

Premier says teamwork needed for both China and Europe to clearly tackle lingering debt

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 November, 2012, 12:07pm

Premier Wen Jiabao called on major economic institutions to come up with a clear and reliable plan to solve the euro-zone debt crisis, while pledging that China will assist in Europe's recovery.

In a speech at the opening ceremony of the Asia-Europe Summit in Vientiane, Laos, yesterday, Wen also urged co-operation between the two sides on the use of water resources and forestry.

Leaders from almost 50 countries are in the Laotian capital for two days of talks, which will be dominated by the lingering debt crisis and efforts to boost trade between the two continents.

"Main economic institutions need to roll out a clear and reliable medium-term financial plan as early as possible to solve the sovereign debt crisis," Wen said.

He warned that the global economy still faced downside risks, but Asia and Europe were capable of getting the world economy in order.

Wen said China was a responsible country that had put its economy on a stable track and given assistance to countries with economic problems.

"We are confident that we can achieve the development goal for this year," he said. "We have the confidence, conditions and capabilities needed for achieving the longer development goal."

Growth in trade between the EU and Asian countries at the summit slowed to an annual pace of 6 per cent in the first half of this year, down from 8 per cent last year.

French President Francois Hollande said he was in Vientiane to "reassure Asian countries", but also say they have "a role to play in European and global growth".

The EU was the biggest market for Chinese exports last year, but trade frictions have been frequent. In September, the EU launched an anti-dumping probe into allegations that Chinese solar panels were being imported at below cost.

Meanwhile, China and Norway met on the sidelines of the summit yesterday, marking their first official contact since Beijing objected to dissident Liu Xiaobo being named the 2010 Nobel peace laureate. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Wen held a brief meeting, Norwegian media said.

Territorial disputes between China and its neighbours have overshadowed the talks.

When he met the Laotian president, Lieutenant General Choummaly Sayasone, Wen said both sides should offer support on issues concerning their core interests.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda asked for Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's understanding of Tokyo's position on the East China Sea row.

Bloomberg, Agence France-Presse, Associated Press

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