Japan, ASEAN countries mull ways to counter financial crises

Reuters

Following a trilateral meeting of their finance ministers and central bank governors' in Japan on Friday, they agreed trade is an important engine of growth and development which leads to productivity and job creation.

He said that China will continue with proactive fiscal policy, further cut taxes and administrative fees for enterprises, optimize the fiscal expenditure structure to promote reform of the supply side while attaching more importance to controling local governments' debt risks.

The officials met on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank's annual meeting, which kicked off Thursday in Yokohama.

"Korea, China and Japan have announced a clear message that they will condemn any type of protectionism to guard the idea of free trade and we think this idea will be able to spread to even G-20 meetings", said Shim. Haruhiko Kuroda, Governor of the Bank of Japan, Taro Aso, Japanese Minister of Finance, Yoo Il-ho, Korean Finance Minister, Lee Ju-yeol, Governor of Bank of Korea.

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In an attempt to reduce the region's vulnerability to dollar swings, Japan also proposed forming US$40 billion in bilateral currency swap arrangements with Southeast Asian nations that would allow it to provide yen funds in times of financial stress.

Finance chiefs of the G20 industrial economies removed their traditional vow to fight all forms of protectionism from their communique at the USA request in March.

China has positioned itself as a supporter of free trade in the wake of Trump's calls to put America's interest first and pull out of multilateral trade agreements.

In a separate joint statement, ASEAN+3 officials noted that their group's "relatively robust growth" prospects notwithstanding, "risks for the global economy remain. especially over the medium term, with pervasive uncertainties surrounding policies" that include the rise of protectionism and sharper-than-expected tightening of financial conditions.

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