HONOLULU (Hawaii), November 11 (Itar-Tass) — US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner believes that the financial-economic proposals made by Russia for its presidency in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2012 are reasonable. He confirmed this on Thursday answering an Itar-Tass question at a press conference after a ministerial meeting of the group ahead of its leaders’ summit.
Noting that representatives of the Russian Finance Ministry at the forum led by Deputy Minister Sergei Storchak have already informed the colleagues about their views on the APEC presidency in 2012, Geithner said that “these ideas sounded reasonable.” As an example he highlighted such issue and financing of infrastructure projects, and the question is how to make our financial systems work better for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs.
According to him, “it’s common challenges” for the group’s countries, but their joint discussion also brings “common benefit.” In general, in his view, “it is very useful” and valuable to exchange experience in the search for the best solutions at forums such as the current APEC summit, including on such sensitive issues today as the current debt crisis in Europe. The American financier said that he believes the Russians will act in the same spirit.
According to the APEC press release, APEC Finance Ministers on Thursday pledged to decisively address risks to the global economy to restore confidence, financial stability and sustainable growth. Meeting in Honolulu, Ministers acknowledged that growth and job creation have weakened in the region, particularly in advanced economies, while inflation remains elevated in many. Capital flow volatility has intensified in response to heightened risk aversion.
Hosting the 18th APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other APEC Finance Ministers issued a joint statement that pledged to “take coordinated actions to strengthen the global recovery, reinforce financial sector stability, maintain open markets and build a foundation for strong, sustainable and balanced growth.”
Ministers reviewed the conclusions of the G20 and committed to take coordinated actions. Advanced economies committed to implement clear, credible and specific measures to achieve fiscal consolidation. Economies with large current account surpluses committed to reforms to increase domestic demand, coupled with greater exchange rate flexibility. Ministers committed to move more rapidly toward more market-determined exchange rate systems and enhance exchange rate flexibility to reflect underlying economic fundamentals. They also reiterated that excess volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates have adverse implications for economic and financial stability.
Ministers also took stock of APEC’s work on infrastructure financing and financial empowerment. They said that accelerating infrastructure investment and improving service delivery will contribute to boosting the recovery and is critical for sustaining economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the release.
They also recognized that a significant number of residents in the region still lack effective access to safe and reliable financial services and affirmed their commitment to expand the reach of safe and reliable financial services in APEC economies to strengthen and broaden economic growth. Ministers reaffirmed their shared interest in reforming the financial sector to better meet the needs of our economies. APEC Finance Ministers also considered analysis and perspectives from the President of the Asian Development Bank, the President of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Managing Director of the World Bank Group, the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and the APEC Business Advisory Council.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries (styled “member economies”) that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional economic blocs (such as the European Union) in other parts of the world, APEC works to raise living standards and education levels through sustainable economic growth and to foster a sense of community and an appreciation of shared interests among Asia-Pacific countries. Members account for approximately 40 percent of the world’s population, approximately 54 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and about 44 percent of world trade.
An annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting is attended by the heads of government of all APEC members except the Republic of China (Taiwan), which is represented under the name Chinese Taipei by a ministerial-level official. The location of the meeting rotates annually among the member economies, and a famous tradition involves the attending leaders dressing in a national costume of the host member.