London eyes rising Asian powers

March 9, 2012 at 12:06 PM

LONDON, March 9 (UPI) -- London and its European partners need to address the dual challenges of a financial crisis and the rise of Asian powers, a British official said.

David Howell, minister of state for the British Commonwealth, addressed an economic conference in London expressing concern about problems facing the European community.

"Europe faces two big economic challenges," he said in his remarks. "Resolving the eurozone crisis and responding to the relative shift of economic power both eastward with the rise of Asia and southward."

Howell said the European economy is expected to contract 0.3 percent while African, India and Chinese markets are expected to grow by as much as 9 percent this year.

"Chinese growth provides a big opportunity as a market for our goods," he said. "The problem is that Western growth has stalled."

London said it may have to examine shifting geopolitical dynamics.

British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told officials at The Hague this week that the global community is no longer divided along traditional geopolitical lines but into societies that are open and those that are closed.

Howell said European leaders need to address emerging economic trends if the community is expected to remain prosperous.

"We talk boldly about growth and prosperity but it will indeed be a struggle to maintain our current level of prosperity in the new conditions that we must face," he said.

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