Invest in Asia amid "double-dip' recession risk, Pangestu says

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Asian economic growth ensures the region will stay attractive to investors amid the risk of a double-dip global recession, Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Pangestu said at a meeting in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang.

Earlier this week, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said the European economy is at risk of sliding back into a recession. On Tuesday, European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said in New York that Europe and the US are in the "same boat" when facing the risk of another recession.

While acknowledging risks to the global economy from a double-dip recession, Pangestu said increased trade among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has made the region more attractive to investors. "Asia is really where the growth is happening," she said at the meeting of ministers from the group.

The 10 countries in the group known as Asean expect overall GDP growth among member states to exceed 5 percent this year, up from 1.5 percent in 2009, according to a statement posted today on the group's website. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told the conference that regional countries are posting a "solid economic recovery."

Asean attracted 3.6 percent of global foreign direct investment in 2009, up from 2.8 percent in 2008, according to the organization.

Vietnam's gross domestic product may grow by as much as 7 percent this year, Dung said in June.

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