No Nordic ministers at the Asia-Europe Finance Ministers’ Meeting

While Europe is in crisis Asian countries maintain growth, albeit at a slightly lower level. Lots of European companies look at Asia and not at least Southeast Asia to find future growth. Today Finance Ministers from 46 Asian and European countries was supposed to meet in Bangkok under the theme “Strengthening Dynamic Partnership, Sharing Dynamic Growth”, to discuss how to share Asia’s dynamic growth with Europe and the rest of the world so as to resume prosperity to both regions.

One might expect that such a theme would have some interest for the Nordic countries, but none has chose to send their ministers. Finland have chosen to send their Secretary of State, Sweden is represented by their Ambassador, We haven’t been able to find out who is representing Norway, and the Danish Embassy inform that Denmark is represented by Deputy permanent Secretary Steen Lohmann-Poulsen head of the department of international economics, and that he will speak on European regulation of the financial sector. Steen Lohmann-Poulsen was responsible for the work of the EU Council of Economic and Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) first half year of 2012 during the Danish EU Presidency, but the minister of economic and internal affairs stays home in Copenhagen.

India, which in 2011 was the world 10. largest economy measured on GDP with an economy of 1.826 billion US$ more than 200 billion bigger than Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland together, are represented by their finance minister.

“The ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Finance Ministers Meeting has assumed special importance since it is being organised in the wake of a global economic downturn. Revival of growth in Asia and Europe will benefit all economies and enhance manufacturing technology flow and create new jobs,” Anil Wadhwa, India’s Ambassador to Thailand, told PTI.

The Finance Ministers are expected to endorse important recommendations in this cooperative endeavour which will also become an important input into the ASEM summit on November 4- 5, he said.

“India with its enhanced role in the G-20 has a lot at stake in the way this process moves forward. Finance Minister Chidambaram’s visit to Bangkok for this meeting reflects the importance we attach to playing our due part in this process,” Wadhwa added.

Director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office in Thailand Somchai Sujjapongse told the press yesterday, that the most important topic on the meeting’s agenda is how to promote trade and investment flows between the two regions.

“Multinational companies from Europe have a long history of investing in Asia, while Asian investment in Europe is still limited. Europe should promote investment by big as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises from Asia,” he said.

“We in Asia want to use our current account surplus to support Europe, via investment and economic stimulus, but there are some obstacles; for instance, Europe

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