January 24, 2008 / 2:12 PM / 12 years ago

Key quotes on the shift in global power

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Following are highlights of comments by participants at the World Economic Forum on the shift of world economic and political power:

GEORGE YEO YONG-BOON, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS,

SINGAPORE:

“There is an enormous shift of power and influence in the world. It is mainly a story of the rise of China and India. It has never been in the past that powers emerge on such a massive scale without powers and revolutions. The challenge is how do we maintain the peace in Asia in this century - it is not easy.

“We talk about sovereign wealth funds - these are only an aspect of a much bigger phenomenon.

“In Asia for us, it is also (about) how China and India manage their re-encounter with each other.

“It is the accommodation into the global system which is most important. I fully agree that the sooner China and India are brought into G7, G8 the better.

“Either they are part of the solution... or they become part of the problem.”

DO CHANGES MAKE PEACE HARDER IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

“I believe we are not talking about market and finance, we are talking about two systems - governments and non-governmental organizations.

“Problems have become global - the environment, the economy - I do not believe there are national economies, only national poverties.

“Governments are good for war and poor for peace. When it comes to peace, or the cost of peace it divides the nation. People say you pay too much.

“You cannot live any more on tradition. Land, or the attitude toward women. I think the greatest achievement in the 20th century was the equality of women.

“Now the struggle is not just between Israel and Palestinians but between both camps. I do hope the non-governmental participation will save the day.

“The governments are victims of their own past, of their own prejudices. New organizations are unprecedented, they have no pasts, no prejudices, and have no border.”

HENRY KISSINGER:

“In Europe, the state is being abandoned, reduced in significance — this affects the capacity of the government to ask sacrifices of its people.

“In the Middle East the state never had the same significance.

“Proliferation is a major issue.

“The world in which I was in government was a two power world. The world today is stronger but there are intangible factors and the risks are more complete.”

ON CONCERNS RUSSIA WILL USE GAS AS BLACKMAIL:

“As far as Russia’s supplies to Europe are concerned there have never been problems...but concerns are being raised.

“Today’s rise in oil prices is of course linked to the drive in consumption.

“During G8 we spoke very openly about the need for logistics, networks with final consumers for energy. We are talking about mutual responsibility of consuming and producing countries — a partnership relationship.

“We have reliable future for supplying fuel to Europe and to increase these supplies. 85 percent of what we supply is to Europe.”

HENRY KISSINGER:

“In Europe, the state is being abandoned, reduced in significance — this affects the capacity of the government to ask sacrifices of its people.

“In the Middle East the state never had the same significance.”

LLOYD BLANKFEIN, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP

“It’s pretty busy as the entire world beats a path to repositories of excess capital.

“That shift has been ongoing for some time. The recent popularization means it has struck people as a new phenomenon and it has seen acceleration. The force of that economic shift was underappreciated before.

“It is a funny creditor-borrower relationship. The creditors have a lower standard of lending than the countries they are funding.

“I don’t think that the emerging world is a slave to the fortunes of the United States or the wider developed world, so there is an element of decoupling but impossible for it to be complete decoupling.

“If you looked at equity markets, it looked like decoupling but in the past couple of weeks people are saying how can that growth be maintained...if the source of demand is receding.”

For full coverage, blogs and TV from Davos see: here

Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques; Editing by Sue Thomas

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