Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • US military targets Shabaab extremists in Somalia

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

Europe

Hollande to play up Europe's economic might at Asia summit

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-11-05

French President François Hollande began a charm offensive on behalf of Europe Monday as he flew into Laos along with top European leaders for a global summit. Hollande is seeking to convince Asia that Europe remains an economic force.

Top European leaders jetting into Laos for a major summit are on a mission to reassure Asia that their crisis-hit region is "still an economic power", French President Francois Hollande said.

"There is a doubt in Asia about Europe's capacity to be a zone of stability and growth," he told reporters aboard his flight to the meeting of dozens of leaders from Asia and Europe in the Laos capital Vientiane.

Laos 'to start' construction of mega dam

Laos on Monday said it would start construction of a controversial multi-billion dollar dam on the Mekong river this week, after adapting the project's design to calm its neighbours' environmental concerns.
              
"After two years of preparation the Laos government will have a ground breaking ceremony on November 7 and will then start working on the dam itself in the Mekong river this week," deputy energy minister Viraphon Viravong said.

(AFP)



 



He said the main aim of his first trip to Asia since taking office in May was to "convince (participants) during the Europe-Asia dialogue that Europe is still an economic power".

Soon after arriving however, the French president risked the wrath of China by criticising the inflexibility of the Yuan currency.

"Some Asian countries, notably China, have currencies that are not convertible," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe summit. "We have to be competitive but that requires fair exchange rates."

Hollande, along with fellow leaders including Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, will seek to reassure Asia that the long-running eurozone crisis is finally coming under control.

The diplomatic offensive is seen as a sign of the growing importance that debt-laden Europe places on Asia's fast-growing economies.

Hollande, who flew into Vientiane early Monday, was due to hold bilateral talks with leaders including Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during his one-day visit to small landlocked Laos.

European leaders may lobby Wen to deploy some of Beijing's trove of about $3 trillion in foreign exchange reserves -- the largest in the world -- to invest in EU bailout funds.

China "remains confident in the euro and that's important", said an official in Hollande's delegation.

The Asia-Europe Meeting, held every two years, provides an opportunity to boost trade links between two regions that together account for about half of global gross domestic product.

"We have to go and look for growth where it is, and growth is also in Asia," the official said.

(AFP)

Date created : 2012-11-05

  • SAUDI ARABIA - FRANCE

    Hollande holds talks in Saudi Arabia on Iran and Syria

    Read more

  • LEBANON

    France's Hollande in Beirut for talks on Syria crisis

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French banks hit by downgrade as consumer confidence stalls

    Read more

COMMENT(S)