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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7718
JPY
USD
107.32
GBP
USD
0.6125
CAD
USD
1.0974
INR
USD
60.919

Rates may not be current.