In face of growing global financial difficulties, a Sri Lankan minister Tuesday warned that unless Asia Pacific countries minimize an estimated 350 billion U.S. dollars in trade wastage and red tape within the next five years the region would be economically challenged.
Senior Minister for International Monetary Cooperation Sarath Amunugama told the Asia Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum 2012, which brought together representatives of around 30 countries, to “cut slack” and become “lean and mean” if they wish to remain in contention within an increasingly challenging global atmosphere.
Pointing out those traditional markets of U.S. and Europe are no longer able to spearhead world consumption, Amunugama noted that this “unique juncture in history” called for the revamping of world trade patterns.
“The upshot of global economic changes is that Asian countries have to rethink their trade strategies. They need to cut slack and become more efficient if they wish to continue growing,” he said.
The senior minister added that efficiency goals must be reached within the next five years if they are to have a realistic chance to maintaining Asian growth both regionally and globally.
He insisted that intra-regional growth alone would be insufficient and that Asian countries need to evolve to continue growing in markets of developed countries as well.