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’Asia challenging US competitiveness’

Friday 7 January 2005

WASHINGTON: Asian economies like India and China are posing an unprecedented challenge to US competitiveness, a top American business lobby has warned, seeking firm government steps to secure the nation’s leadership.

The US Chamber of Commerce, representing three million firms, said although the United States was strong and outperforming virtually all of the major economies in the world, it has failed to address this challenge.

"We have a good economy today - the kind of economy that much of the rest of the world only dream about," the chamber’s President, Thomas Donohue, said at a news conference yesterday outlining the group’s priority issues for 2005.

"Yet, we must also recognise that our competitive position is being challenged as never before," he said. "The rapidly developing economies of China, India and East Asia are becoming major players in cutting edge industries."

They are catching up with the United States, particularly in technology, business services and high-end manufacturing, he said.

Aside from Asia, Donohue said, the US needed to be wary of the European Union, which was consolidating and enlarging its economic power while aggressively expanding its regulatory impact in areas from anti-trust policy to food production to climatic change.

"In many respects, our nation has failed to answer this growing competition," he said.

Donohue said Asian economies were stepping up economic growth, beefing up technology, boosting training programmes and improving education quality.

See online : The Economic Times

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