Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda (from left), Finance Minister Taro Aso, South Korean Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho and Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol pose for a picture with Chinese Vice-Minister of Finance Yaobin Shi and an unidentified Chinese delegate before their trilateral meeting on the sidelines of Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s annual general meeting in Yokohama, Friday. [Photo by: Ministry of Strategy and Finance]
Finance leaders of South Korea, Japan and China have unanimously pledged to fight against all forms of protectionism taking a stronger stance than the Group of 20 (G20) nations against U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies.
The finance ministers and central bank chiefs of the three nations made the pledge Friday after a trilateral meeting held on the sidelines of an annual gathering of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Yokohama, eastern Japan, issuing a joint communique.
“We agree that trade is one of the most important engines of economic growth and development, which contribute to productivity improvements and job creations,” the communique said. It kept on with a line - which was previously dropped apparently under pressure from Washington from a communique issued by the finance leaders of the G20 economies in March - “We will resist all forms of protectionism.”
They predicted “that global growth is expected to rise with buoyant financial market and long-awaited cyclical recovery in manufacturing and trade under way, and ASEAN+3 region is expected to maintain a relatively robust growth,” yet cautioned against “downside risks,” and reaffirmed “the importance of utilizing all necessary policy tools including fiscal and monetary policies and advancing structural reforms to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth,” in the communique.
They “will continue high degree of communication and coordination among China, Japan and Korea to cope with possible financial instability in the context of increased uncertainty of global economy and geopolitical tensions,” the communique said.
The leaders from Korea, Japan and China also agreed on “strengthening regional financial cooperation to secure confidence and ensure financial stability in the ASEAN+3 region,” and pledged to “work with other regional members to further enhance the readiness and effectiveness of Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM).” They look forward to further enhancing the coordination between CMIM and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to the joint statement.
The CMIM is a multilateral swap arrangement launched by Korea, China, Japan and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2010. Korea can draw $38.4 billion from the arrangement.
The chief financial policymakers from the three nations decided to meet again in Manila, Philippines in May next year.
By Cho Si-young
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