About Summit

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah opened evening session of the first Summit of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), where Afghan President Hamid Karzai started his speech with high appraisal of Kuwait's role in achieving cooperation and dialogue among Asian countries.

The Afghan President also thanked all Asian countries on the constant support for Afghanistan and especially the State of Kuwait and His Highness the Amir, stressing that the forum was a great opportunity to strengthen cooperation between Asian countries.

He stressed that his country supported setting official headquarters for this dialogue, adding that the summit hosted by Kuwait was unique and opened dialogue among all Asian countries, in addition to contributing to boosting cooperation in all domains among them.

Karzai hoped the Asian countries contribute for the good of the entire continent, and looking into ACD potentials to explore further cooperation. He noted cultural and civilization diversity in the Asian continent, hoping dialogue within ACD strengthened regional cooperation "for our continent and beyond."

Meanwhile, the President of Tajikistan Emam ali Rahmon said he was confidence ACD which consisted of 32 countries could have an inter-governmental dialogue at the highest level.Tajikistan, he said, believed cooperation within ACD contribute to economic integration between Asian countries. "It is necessary to have new initiatives to expand our economies," he said.Rahmon said opportunity in transport, communication and infrastructure could contribute to further development of the Asian countries.Asia, he said, could enhance global economic growth, and capable of resolving challenges facing the Asian people.Other domains of cooperation between the Asian countries include security, technology, information technology, agriculture, environment and tourism, said the President.

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, meanwhile, said he was confident His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's leadership of ACD would have positive results for Asia.Addressing the ACD Summit's evening session, Yassin expressed full support for the ACD.He said the unprecedented political and economic challenges needed to be addressed through outlining a mechanism to "strengthen our capabilities." Yassin said one of the major challenges facing Asia was food security. He called for boosting food chains and supplies coupled with investment in infrastructure projects.Other challenge, he noted, was the global economic crisis which was negatively affecting countries around the globe. "We should exert efforts to address other economic problems and reform the global financial system." Yassin said ACD countries should boost competitiveness by using all resources and safeguarding their values.

He said Malaysia sought to transform the Asian community into an active player around the globe.Malaysia, he added, welcomed Kuwait's proposal to contribute USD two billion to support non-Arab Asian countries. "We offer our expertise in economy and social affairs," said Yassin.

Saudi deputy foreign minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, who heads his country's delegation to the ACD Summit, said financial crisis and rising food prices were the main issue dominating the international arena, noting that the international community has issued many decisions to overcome this crisis.

As for food security, he said, Saudi Arabia donated USD 500 million in aid of 62 countries to overcome this problem.Prince Abdulaziz praised the Asian economic development and called for need to cooperate in smart energy.

Saudi Arabia, he added, was keen on oil prices stability as energy security equaled stability of supply and demand.Saudi King Abdullah, during a recent OPEC meeting, issued a USD 300 million initiative to protect environment. The initiative was later joined by Kuwait, UAE and Qatar who contributed USD 450 million combined.

In his speech at the ACD Summit, Special Representative of Chinese President Hu Jintao and vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) called for cooperation among Asian countries to make Asia stronger and boost knowledge and cultural dialogue among Asian nations."We have more capabilities to grow, and that illustrated during the past decade of cooperation and dialogue. Therefore, we should try to resolve social and economic disagreements and work with more transparency," Special Representative of Chinese President said.He stressed the need to face any crisis, as witnessed in Northern Asia, Africa and Europe, "which had threatened our stability and development." He also urged the Summit to set the path for additional cooperation and underpin Asian awareness and openness towards more economic development.

Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf praised the role of Kuwait in its initiative to support the ACD Summit, adding that his country was eying with great interest the outcomes of the Asian dialogue.The prime minister referred to Asia's huge potential, "it's time to exploit it and develop its nations in all fields.

Ashraf said that the time had come to the set the spotlight on Asian resources and protect them through setting policies and strategies, to address the financial crisis, adding that his country would host the Second World Summit on energy this year.

He called for optimal use of water resources to maintain them in the future and the preservation of the environment and sustainable development.He said it was important to exploit the Asian's resources and their potential uniformly "until we reach desired goal." He added that Pakistan could play a role with different organizations and act as observer and mediate integration among nations, adding, "We seek to establish ties with China and other major countries to cooperate with it on a regional level, and I am confident that projects will be implemented for the prosperity of our peoples." He pointed out that Pakistan's achievements were linked to a peaceful environment "therefore it was important that we seek to bring peace," adding that the hopes the summit would adopt cooperation in all domains.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, addressing ACD Summit, said Asian countries should be capable of running the world because they were the victims of two world wars and discrimination exercised by the world on the political, economic and social domains.

Asia is still suffering from some crises like in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to challenges at social level like terrorism, drugs, natural disasters and family troubles, he said.

The Asian continent has large assets of energy, transport networks and agriculture, said Ahmadinejad.The people of Asia, added the Iranian leader, should rely on their giant cultural, human and production capabilities to overcome all challenges.Ahmadinejad said future international system should be based on justice. He said the Asian culture should be the responsibility of people who have big aspirations. He added that ACD countries should boost trade and economic exchange, as well as overcoming all obstacles facing this exchange, like reducing custom tariffs. Ahmadinejad urged ACD members to explore means of tackling financial and economic problems, as well as contribute to sustainable economic development.

For his part, Senior parliamentary secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sam Tan Chin Siong, Representative of Singapore said his country was seeking to develop the Asian community and the development of member states and thus improving level of interdependence among Asian countries.He added that the time has come to exploit Asian resources, meanwhile thanking the State of Kuwait that is taking the lead in opening dialogue.

He called for taking necessary steps to address the economic crisis, saying that regional institutions play an important role in linking countries but there remains a need to explore more opportunities for linking economies, which is represented by the first Summit of dialogue and economic cooperation that in order to achieve economic well-being of all Asian countries.

In turn, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri E. Ahmed, praised Kuwait's role and its continuous support of such initiatives with billions of dollars for decades, illustrating Kuwait's unique foreign policy, and developing the Asian dialogue.He expressed his belief that the new century was "the century of Asia", which would play a key role in world economies.He continued, "We must design our ideas in the form of effective collaborative programs," expressing India's readiness to turn this challenge into reality."We need to achieve security, peace and cooperation through programs and ideas of this summit, which offers opportunities for Asian dialogue to play an active role in global economies." He added, "development issues are mainly concentrated on new technology that have a significant impact on development of industries." He stressed that his country attached great importance to transport among Asian countries and has begun a new project to transport connectivity among member states through a network of roads and railways and a strong infrastructure.Ahmed stressed the keenness of India to support a shared vision for the development of Asian dialogue in the fields of energy, transport, agriculture, education, financial and economic cooperation, the environment and other "and we have to adopt the perspective of immediate coordination between member states".

For his part, the Laos Politburo member and Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavat said that during last year, Asian cooperation had witnessed continuous growth with his country making much progress on this level.He thanked Thailand for its efforts as general coordinator of the ACD and hailing members of the grouping.These meetings aim to exchange points of view best pan-Asian action to take at the current time.

Asian dialogue faces many challenges and offers many opportunities. Asian countries should increase their cooperation across 20 sectors and should invest in these opportunities and ideas as they have much potential to face these challenges.

He also expressed his gratitude to HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for his pledges to development in developing nations.Climate change has affected many nations in the continent through natural hazards and this required focusing on the issue of food security.The continent is very harmonious and benefits from good agricultural land, animal resources and oil and natural resources. If these resources were to be part-exchanged in bilateral or multi-lateral swap deals, this would be a great way to answer to the true demands of the people, would limit the effects of climate change and ensure sustainable development, he said.On the scale of energy, as Laos is rich in lakes and rivers, he said his country intends to make use of power water-generated energy that would provide for the local needs and would enable it to export this energy to other nations.

Laos does not possess oil resources and needs to export to provide for local consumption. As a result of this, the constant fluctuation of oil prices has caused huge problems for his nation, leading to inflation.This is why he suggested a mechanism in which oil-producing nations can support non-oil producing nations and that this would be a reflection of Asian cooperation, achieving the aims of sustainable development and further understanding and friendship between these nations.As his county is land-locked, loans provided to his country have been used to build bridges connecting it to others surrounding his own.

At the moment, there are projects for a railway system between his country and China.

Raising the ACD's capacity to that of a summit is a good step towards improving cooperation, and as the grouping enters its second century it needs further strength, and this is why turning it into an organization aims to further this.He described this as important and that he would be discussing it with officials and experts in his country in order to outline a clear vision for this step.

Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa, in his speech, said the world was full of challenges including the financial crisis and "we still feel the impacts." Rajasa said Indonesia maintained economic growth during the financial crisis and achieved 6.5 percent growth last year amidst expectations that this year's growth would be at 3.5 percent.He said the Asian countries have kept growth via the erection of projects and pumping of investments.The Asian countries need to utilize their natural resources, develop their mutual relations and backing infrastructure projects to achieve sustainable development, he said.Rajasa urged the Asian countries to focus on cooperation in fields of energy, environment and education.He noted that Indonesia's income amounted to around USD trillion last year.

On the other hand, Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Naoki Kazama said the ACD contribute to boosting understanding and collaboration between its members.

Kazama said Asian countries should cooperate in food, energy, cultural and social fields.

He said Japan was working on establishing a platform for food and has placed a special databank for agriculture in order to ensure stability of food market on the short and long terms.Kazama called on importance of youth, cultural and social dialogue.

For his part, Special Representative of the President of Mongolia said that Asian countries hold many resources that could contribute to significant positive impact.

He thanked Kuwait for its initiative to establish a mechanism for Asian cooperation "inspiration for the future of our nations," which he said was the "infrastructure of the Asian dialogue".He expressed his country's support of Kuwait's initiative in boosting Asian dialogue, hoping that such joint efforts would serve common goals and interests.

Russia Deputy Foreign Minister said ACD, since its inception 10 years ago, has become more important at the international level.Through dialogue, he said, ACD was in the right direction because it was the best mean to addressing many challenges including globalization as well as seeking to achieve sustainable development.Joining efforts in energy, investment and dialogue between civilizations help the Asian countries achieve better understanding and stability in Asia in general.The Russian official said his country sought to establish a new mechanism for regional stability and security."We believe that to achieve this objective, we need to have a multi-faceted partnerships between the Asian countries," he added.

Meanwhile, the foreign minister of Bhutan appreciated His Highness the Amir of Kuwait's initiative and contribution of USD 300 million to a USD two billion fund to support non-Arab Asian countries.He said ACD, which was launched by Thailand in 2002, aimed at strengthening dialogue between Asian countries, to make Asia more prosperous and capable of contributing to international peace and security.Asia faces many challenges like food security, poverty, unemployment and economic troubles, he added. "We have to deepen cooperation to address these key problems."We must plan for common future, ensure prosperity and social justice for the Asian people," he said.

For his part, the South Korean representative to the ACD Summit said the Asian countries needed to further protect environment in order to ensure sustainable economic development.He noted that South Korea was helping he developing countries to use clean energy.Food security in the Asian countries is one of the major and vital challenges amidst growing population and high food prices.The Korean representative praised the Kuwaiti Amir's initiative to establish the USD two billion fund.

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