China, India growth moderating: summit

Growth in China and India is expected to moderate over their current fiscal years, leaders gathering for the East Asia Summit in Cambodia have been told.

Following the opening of formal summit talks by Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen on Tuesday in Phnom Penh, the Asian Development Bank gave an overview of global economic challenges.

China's economic growth was projected to decline from 9.3 per cent in its last fiscal year to 7.7 per cent this year and India's was expected to fall from 6.5 percent last year to 5.6 percent in the year to March 2013, the session was told.

The session, which was closed to the media after opening remarks, is also understood to have been briefed on the European debt crisis and the United States' so-called "fiscal cliff" as factors contributing to the faltering global economy.

The Cambodian leader, who is hosting Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other Asia-Pacific leaders for the summit, told the opening of the session the meeting was taking place amid an "uncertain global economic situation and constantly changing landscape".

"We are all facing challenges from the fragile economic recovery of the developed countries," he said.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) president Haruhiko Kuroda earlier in the day told the ASEAN Global Dialogue, which Ms Gillard attended along with other leaders, that future growth must be "more inclusive, green and knowledge-led".

He said that while global growth remains sluggish, developing nations in Asia were in better shape with 6.1 per cent growth expected this year.

He noted that with 420 million Asians entering the labour market by 2030, job creation will remain a daunting challenge for the region.

Infrastructure development was essential to job creation efforts, he said, pointing to the creation earlier this year of an ASEAN Infrastructure Fund.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard later told reporters in Phnom Penh that the briefing from the Asian Development Bank confirmed that Europe faced "continued difficulties", including the "challenge of recession" and millions of unemployed.

She said President Obama also had a challenge with the US economy and managing the "fiscal cliff" and growth in the economy.

"But here in Asia we are still seeing good growth rates," she said.

"We've got to remind ourselves when people talk about a moderation, for example, in China we are talking about a moderation to what is a very high growth rate."

She said there were "risks on the downside" in the global economy which Australia needed to keep an eye on.

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