News / Economy

IMF Urges Action for Lasting Economic Recovery

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde (R) and IMF First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton hold a news conference at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in Tokyo October 11, 20
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde (R) and IMF First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton hold a news conference at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in Tokyo October 11, 20
— The head of the International Monetary Fund is calling for “courageous and cooperative action” among members to achieve a sustained economic recovery. However, political tensions in Asia and continuing concerns about Europe are drawing the most attention.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde acknowledged “good news and bad news” about the Euro zone, a primary concern for the finance ministers and central bankers here.

The good news, she said, is a new organization - the European Stability Mechanism - that is now functioning. It has nearly $650 billion to provide to troubled Euro zone members. The bad news, Lagarde explained, is that legislative barriers in troubled states hamper them from taking effective action.

Lagarde also dispensed some advice for the world's second-largest economy, China.

“Be a partner in the global economy, full-fledged," she urged. "Second, focus on the domestic market which is clearly an engine for growth that China should activate and is planning to activate. And ,when I say domestic market I would divide between investment and consumption. And, clearly the focus going forward should be on consumption because investment has already been well taken care of in the last couple of years.”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner explained China's economy has grown more complex over the years and now the shock from Europe has hurt its export-driven growth.

“They just can't sit there and turn these dials, just turn them slightly the way they used to and have that result in significant expansion activity," he noted, "without the risks that they're now a little more worried about, which is not to recreate the distortions, the long costs, of just trying to push a lot of money really quickly through a system that doesn't allocate resources very well.”

But China's finance minister and top bankers are not present to hear this. Beijing has sent lower-ranking officials to show their displeasure with host Japan. The two countries are enmeshed in a diplomatic feud about uninhabited islands controlled by Tokyo but claimed by the Chinese.

Lagarde, a former finance minister of France, chided the Chinese for skipping out, saying they are losing out by not attending important meetings.

For officials from developing countries in attendance, there are worries rising food prices will mean more of their people going hungry.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said he is very concerned about this.

“From our perspective the response to the increases in food prices has to be multi-faceted," Kim said. "What we're doing immediately is making resources available to countries to provide an emergency capability of helping to purchase food.”

The World Bank president urged the developed world's ministers and bankers to not only focus on fighting recession in the advanced economies, but also to take steps this week that can help developing nations escape poverty.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.