‘Asian economies are better poised to strengthen
global growth’ :
US urges Asia to help save global economy
HAWAII: The United States urged Asia Thursday to do more to stimulate
global growth to offset the eurozone crisis, ahead of a summit in Hawaii
where Washington is seeking to shape the rules for the emerging Pacific
After hosting a meeting of Asia-Pacific finance ministers, US
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said talks had been dominated by how to
make growth more balanced and sustainable in the future, given the
crisis in Europe.
Geithner had a stark message for leaders such as Chinese President Hu
Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda gathering in tropical
Honolulu for this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
“Asian economies will need to do more to stimulate domestic demand
growth, both so they are less vulnerable to slowdowns, such as the
situation in Europe, and so they can continue to contribute to global
growth,” he said.
APEC’s 21 member economies account for about 40 percent of the
world’s population, more than 50 percent of its gross domestic product
and 44 percent of global trade.
“While APEC economies are the most vulnerable to a global slowdown,
they can also play the greatest role in contributing to the global
recovery and establishing the foundations of strong, sustainable, and
balanced future growth,” Geithner said.
Europe warned Thursday that the debt crisis was dragging the region
towards a new recession as Greece chose a new prime minister to try to
pull it back from the brink of financial disaster and Italy too lurched
In Honolulu, where US President Barack Obama hopes this weekend to
unveil the broad outlines of a landmark trade pact, there were signs of
tensions between the United States and the Asia-Pacific’s other dominant
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, previewing the US message for the
summit of the 21-member APEC forum, said the region stands at a “pivot
point” as it becomes “the world’s strategic and economic center of
Saying that the post-World War II institutions between the United
States and Europe had paid “remarkable dividends,” Clinton said the time
had come for “a more dynamic and durable trans-Pacific system.”
The top US diplomat insisted that the United States welcomed a
“thriving China,” saying it was not in either country’s interest for
Washington to try to contain the rising Asian power.
But Clinton, who later held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang
Jiechi, voiced concern about Beijing’s record both on human rights and
“We are alarmed by recent incidents in Tibet of young people lighting
themselves on fire in desperate acts of protest as well as the continued
house arrest of the Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng,” she said.
“We continue to call on China to embrace a different path.”
The United States hopes to point to concrete results from its
chairmanship of APEC, and finance ministers met Thursday to find ways to
shield the region from chaos in the eurozone.
“We are all directly affected by the crisis in Europe, but the
economies gathered here are in a better position than most to take steps
to strengthen growth in the face of these pressures from Europe,”
“In this context, the principal focus of our discussions was how to
help strengthen growth around the world and make it more balanced and
sustainable in the future.”
Obama is expected to announce a tentative free trade deal called the
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with eight other nations, Australia,
Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Japan’s Noda is seriously considering bringing the world’s third largest
economy into the talks, a step that would move the once-obscure pact
closer to becoming an Asia-wide trade deal. HONOLULU, Friday, AFP