Jan. 16 - European countries need to step up to make their economies competitive, says Britain’s finance minister George Osborne during a visit to Asia. Rough cut (No reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT, SOUNDBITES ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION. HONG KONG, CHINA (JANUARY 16, 2012) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITAIN'S FINANCE MINISTER, GEORGE OSBORNE, SAYING: "No-one likes to see credit ratings downgraded. But what matters more are the actions western countries take to restore their down fiscal sustainability and take the structural reforms necessary to ensure productive, competitive economies. All European economies need to tackle the structural obstacles to growth that we've simply not had the political will to address in recent years. And it's good news that these issues of growth and competitiveness will be the focus of European leaders' discussions later this month." SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITAIN'S FINANCE MINISTER, GEORGE OSBORNE, SAYING: "I've spent much of my time in office in talks about the euro zone. And the euro zone has made progress in recent months, in particular the provision of liquidity to banks by the European Central Bank. But of course, there remains more to do, as the euro area itself acknowledges."