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

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9238
JPY
USD
119.51
GBP
USD
0.6614
CAD
USD
1.2119
INR
USD
63.562

Rates may not be current.