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, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9036
    JPY
    USD
    102.32
    GBP
    USD
    0.7297
    CAD
    USD
    1.3005
    INR
    USD
    68.004

    Rates may not be current.