BANGKOK (AFP) - Asia-Pacific economies face little risk of being dragged down by Europe's debt crisis but authorities in the region must remain vigilant to potential risks, a senior UN economist said Wednesday. "The likelihood of contagion is very, very limited," said Nagesh Kumar, chief economist of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The region has strong macroeconomic fundamentals and prudent financial and banking sector regulations, he noted. "So far the European debt crisis has not had any major significant contagion on the Asia-Pacific region," Kumar told reporters at the launch of an update of its regional economic and social survey. The UN agency said, however, that in the worst-case scenario of one or more simultaneous sovereign debt defaults in Europe, Asia-Pacific economies would be unlikely to escape unscathed. "As Asia-Pacific banks are not believed to have significant holdings of European sovereign debt products, they are not considered to be at immediate risk from a new debt crisis," the report said. "Such is the interconnectedness of major financial institutions in the global economy, however, that the financial sector of the region remains at risk indirectly from exposure to any global credit withdrawal." It urged governments at risk of sudden withdrawals of external financing and a credit crunch to make arrangements to shore up their financial sectors if needed. Debt problems have forced Greece and Ireland to seek international bailouts this year and there are concerns about the public finances of other European nations including Portugal, Spain and Italy.