A Relationship Strengthened by Crisis

The US and Asia will be at the center of any effective multilateral action to stabilize the global financial system and economy, and to address the root causes of the current crisis. So both sides must seek to enhance cooperation and leverage regional, multilateral, and bilateral dialogues and relationships to ensure the integrity and efficacy of these efforts.

NEW YORK – In recent years, emerging-market countries, including those in Asia, have made impressive strides in strengthening their fundamentals, accelerating their economic growth and cushioning themselves against external shocks. Nevertheless, as the events of recent months have shown, emerging markets are not immune from the current bout of global financial turmoil.

In particular, slowing global economic demand poses daunting challenges for many Asian economies, especially those that are more dependent on export-led growth. While most Asian countries have had relatively limited direct exposure to mortgage-related assets, deleveraging by foreign investors and slowing external demand have simultaneously created tighter credit conditions and lower expectations for growth. This has led to heightened volatility in equity, money, and debt markets.

These developments put to rest the notion of “decoupling,” the idea that economic growth in emerging markets, whether in Asia or elsewhere, is independent from that of the developed world. As the current crisis makes painfully clear, in this era of global trade and investment, our economies − and our prosperity − are inextricably linked. In order to maintain strong economic growth in America, we need a strong, growing Asia, just as Asia’s success depends on a thriving US.

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