The story appears on

Page A3

November 13, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Business » Economy

APEC vows to hold firm on stimulus effort

PACIFIC rim ministers agreed yesterday to stick with stimulus plans as long as it takes to achieve a sustained economic recovery, warning that unemployment is still too high and systemic barriers to new growth remain.

"The global economic situation has eased considerably," trade and foreign ministers of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation organization said in a statement after talks in Singapore.

"But the recovery remains fragile; the growth profile over the next few quarters is likely to be uneven. Unemployment remains unacceptably high in many of our economies."

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the emergency measures put in place by APEC member governments - including some US$1 trillion in Asia and US$787 billion in the United States alone - had prevented a deeper downturn. He said the pace at which "exit strategies" from these fiscal and monetary stimulus steps are implemented will vary.

Geithner made it clear that for the United States a return to healthy economic growth remained the imperative.

"The challenge is growth. First growth, but make sure we have business confidence restored, investments expanding again, unemployment coming down, financial sector definitively repaired - that's our basic challenge," he said.

For its part, Japan said it was not yet ready to unwind policies put in place to revive the economy because domestic demand is still very frail and the corporate outlook is bleak.

"We are most definitely not in a situation to consider exit policy," Japanese Parliamentary Finance Secretary Shinichiro Furumoto told a media conference at the APEC meeting.

APEC member economies account for 40 percent of the world's population across four continents, more than half of global gross domestic product and nearly half of world trade.

APEC finance ministers agreed that, beyond the phasing out of stimulus measures, they need to tackle structural problems that stand in the way of sustainable, longer-term growth.

"What came through strongly in our discussions today was the sense that structural reforms have to be at the core of efforts to strengthen domestic demand over the medium to long term," said Singapore's finance minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Such steps include reducing public debt burdens, implementing growth-enhancing reforms to meet infrastructure needs and addressing long-term demographic challenges.

The ministers also endorsed "market-oriented" exchange rates.

"We will undertake monetary policies consistent with price stability in the context of market-oriented exchange rates that reflect underlying economic fundamentals," their statement said.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend