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Last Updated:[05-06-2008 09:34:59 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Kevin Rudd Envisions the Formation of Asia-Pacific Union

tradenews Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made conscious effort to revive the reformist spirit of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who was instrumental in creating Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation community two decades ago, to forge an alliance of Asia-Pacific countries along the same lines as the European Union. He stated in a recent speech, he aims to establish an Asia-Pacific community consisting of potential economic powerhouses such as the US, China, Japan and India by 2020. The proposed union would co-exist with the present regional entities including ASEAN. Rudd has appointed the 80 year old veteran diplomat Richard Woolcott, one of his mentors, as a special envoy to persuade the regional leaders over the Union. <BR>While incorporating India to the 21 member APEC organization, Rudd said, by developing an Asia-Pacific Union could help to deal with terrorism, natural disasters and diseases, and will enable free trade across the region to reinforce long-term energy, resource and food security. He also drew a comparison between Asia-Pacific region with Europe by stating that despite Europe having centuries of animosity prevalent among nations were able to form a transnational co-operation through the European Union. And likewise, Asia-Pacific with similar diversities and adversities, could achieve the same through the proposed regional Union. <BR>By 2020, it is estimated that Asia alone will account for 45% of global GDP and one-third of international trade, and thereby will spark off a significant increase in military spending. The Australian prime minister pointed out the demographic projections for the region during the same period was to be 4.6 billion, out of a total global population of 7.7 billion. He urged nations to quickly respond to the challenging times of the region that has been particularly triggered by rapid economic growth.

TOBOC TEAM- by Jose Roy

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