SINGAPORE: Singapore's Defence Minister, Ng Eng Hen said Asia's expected to do better than the rest of the world and will increase in strategic weight.
He made the point during a panel discussion at the 48th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Germany, held from February 3-5.
The conference is a high-level meeting attended by heads of government, defence and foreign ministers, parliamentarians, military leaders and security experts.
"According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), by 2015, Asia will be comparable in size to the economies of the US and Europe combined. By 2030, Asia with its growing middle class will account for more than 40 per cent of global output, exceeding the size of the G-7 economies combined. Developing Asia alone will account for 43 per cent of world consumption at that time," said Dr Ng.
At the meeting, Dr Ng reiterated the importance of an inclusive security architecture, which he said was needed to accommodate rising aspirations and interests of individual countries in the Asia-Pacific.
He said many countries within Asia are still "young" compared to the European Union and the US, and their states and institutions are still evolving.
So, Dr Ng said it is important that the US and Europe continue this strategic engagement in Asia to build cooperation and constructive partnerships so nations can continue to address pressing global problems together.
The topics discussed during the three-day conference included European security developments, new security parameters such as energy, resources and the environment, the implications of the financial crisis for international security, developments in the Middle East and cybersecurity.