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ASEAN+3 finance chiefs discuss economy, cooperation in Japan

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-06 14:21

YOKOHAMA — Finance chiefs from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as Japan, China and South Korea discussed global and regional economy and financial cooperation here Friday at the 20th ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers' and Central Bank Governors' Meeting.

The ASEAN+3 finance leaders agreed that the regional economy, while growing relatively fast, still faces downside risks caused by factors, such as protectionism and financial condition tightening.

They agreed to promote sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic growth by deploying all necessary policy tools independently or jointly, including monetary, fiscal policies as well as structural reform.

They reaffirmed support for open and rules-based multilateral trade and investment systems, and agreed to enhance monitoring of capital flows and pay close attention to and address possible risks in the region.

The leaders also reaffirmed strengthening the role of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) as part of the regional financial safety net and welcomed the fruits achieved in the first joint test run of the CMIM and the International Monetary Fund.

Shi Yaobin, China's deputy finance minister, said China's economy got off to a good start in 2017, with economic growth reaching 6.9 percent, 3.34 million new jobs created in the first quarter and foreign trade up 21.8 percent year-on-year.

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.

He noted that the ASEAN+3 region, while keeping a growth momentum, still faces a lot of challenges, including the aging society, the increasing need to conduct industrial structural transformation, and the growing financial vulnerability for some countries.

He called on all sides to take joint actions to strengthen structural reform, increase regional infrastructure investment and connectivity, firmly protect multilateral trade system, and continue to improve regional financial safety nets to effectively prevent financial risk.

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