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Asian leadership tops World Economic Forum agenda in Singapore

An international meeting of government and business leaders, including Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, will discuss Asian leadership and ways to manage risks to the region's growth, organizers said Thursday.

The two-day conference on East Asia starting Sunday will also be attended by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung, Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Pangestu, Thai Finance Minister Chalongphob Sussangkarn and Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath, the World Economic Forum said.

"International attention has focused mostly on Asia's growth story," said Lee Howell, Asia head of the Geneva-based World Economic Forum. "We hope to identify the leadership opportunities and challenges that will shape an 'Asian century."'

Other key participants include Singapore's Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lee Hsien Loong; Goh Chok Tong, the city-state's central bank chairman and a senior Cabinet minister; and Goh Keng Yong, secretary-general of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Top business executives scheduled to attend the meeting include Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn, Coca-Cola Co. Chief Executive E. Neville Isdell and K.V. Kamath, chairman of India's largest private sector bank, ICICI Bank Ltd.

The meeting will also discuss Asia's progress 10 years after the 1997-98 financial crisis, energy security, sustainable growth, and competitiveness, Howell said.

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