Historical archive

Economic Growth and Sustainable Development: Challenges & opportunities in Asia & Europe

Historical archive

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting, New Delhi, 11 November 2013

"We have to show the same kind of spirit as we saw after the 2008 crisis. We have to think out of the box on a broad range of areas. We have to make necessary global structural changes, so that we can deliver on reviving long-term, sustainable economic growth, and create all the jobs that the young people of the world will need", Foreign Minister Børge Brende said in his speech at the ASEM-meeting in New Delhi on 11 November 2013.

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Ministers, Excellencies.

Thank you, Minister Salman Khurshid, for your excellent arrangements during this important meeting.

Please let me express my deepest condolences to the people of the Philippines in the aftermath of the devastating typhoon Haiyan. Norway will together with the international community contribute to support humanitarian efforts.

  • We have been through the worst global economic crisis since the 1930s.


  • At the 2008 G20 meeting the world leaders came together in an unparalleled way, to make sure that the crisis did not end in a major depression.


  • The extraordinary stimulus packages and unconventional monetary easing was a unique display of world leadership, of common responsibility, and of will to avoid a breakdown of the global economic system.


  • We are not out of the woods yet. Now we have to show the same kind of spirit and think out of the box to secure long-term growth. We must also have a focus on sustainable, job-creating growth. We must deliver on a broad front – and see some real global statesmanship.


  • We need institutional frameworks that are adapted to a new globalized, interdependent world. Asia and Europe have a number of shared responsibilities and opportunities. Now it is time for us to identify areas where we can pull together.


  • We are all beneficiaries of an open, multilateral trading system. In the on-going WTO negotiations, Asia and Europe must bridge their positions to achieve sustainable results. A successful outcome of the Bali meeting could increase global GDP with 1000 billion dollars and spearhead more than 30 million new jobs.


  • Also as my colleague Australian underlined – World Bank numbers show that we have to create 600 million new jobs by 2020. We really need to get back the momentum that we saw following the 2008 crisis. Now on a broad range of areas, to make the necessary global structural changes, so that we can deliver on reviving economic growth, but also creating all the jobs that the young people of the world will need.


  • On the global demographic patterns we are also in an unparalleled situation with more than 50% of the global population under 27 years old. In developing countries more than 50% under 20 years old. This means that we have to think very differently when it comes to job creation. Growth must also create the necessary number of jobs.


  • Open markets, well-functioning political systems and infrastructure, free movement of labour and full participation of women in the work force, will increase the levels of competitiveness - which is crucial to further development.


  • Energy is another key to development. Asia’s energy needs will be doubled over the next 20 years. Our goal must be to ensure universal access to sustainable energy and decouple this growth from growth in CO2 emissions.


  • Economic growth must not continue at the expense of the environment and the climate. We must be able to realise both objectives at the same time through innovative policies and technology.


  • In all of these areas we can make a real difference together. To achieve our goals, we need new partnerships between Asia and Europe.


  • Global economic interdependence poses opportunities and challenges for all. Norway will shoulder its part of the responsibility to create – and adhere to – balanced and predictable economic relations at the national, regional and global level.


Thank you.