HONOLULU Nov 11 Business leaders attending the
APEC CEO summit on Friday pressed for measures to promote
growth by liberalizing trade and easing regulatory barriers to
counter the economic headi winds from Europe's crisis.
Finance, foreign and trade ministers also gathered at the
APEC summit here to discuss ways to foster strong growth.
Following are comments from business and government
ministers attending the APEC meetings:
SINGAPORE'S PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG:
ON EUROPE: "We are preoccupied, and I think for the time
being rightly so, with problems off-stage, elsewhere, with
Italy and Europe."
ON CHINA's YUAN CURRENCY: "The currency is one of the issues
we have with them. It's not something which can easily be
discussed under the glare of spotlights. But off-stage,
accommodations are being made."
ZHU MIN, IMF DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR
ON EUROPE: "Europeans have to... provide a clear picture and
provide a solution and put their hands around their own issues,
and the international community is willing to help."
ON CHINA'S YUAN: "A more flexible exchange rate is good for
China, good for the whole world."
ON IMF FINANCIAL RESOURCES: "We do have enough resources to
fulfill our mission to maintain global financial stability. We
will see how things happen and evolve and what type of
resources we need and see also what our member countries
require us to do."
DEB HENRETTA, PROCTER AND GAMBLE, Group President for Asia,
and Chair of APEC Business Advisory Council.
On national innovation policies:
"Innovation policies are of particular interest (to the
business community). In global markets, innovation policy has
the potential to intersect with trade and investment policy in
several ways. These include product standards, government
procurement, regulatory issues and intellectual property
rights. In many economies, the formation of national innovation
programs is still in the early stages. As such, the timing is
right for APEC economies to agree on principles that would
guide economies in the development of innovation policies that
are market driven, nondiscriminatory
U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY TIMOTHY GEITHNER Press Conference:
ON EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK:
"That basic framework is a good framework but we need to see
it put in place with the speed that markets require and with
the force that restores confidence. They're moving ahead. We
just need to see them move a little more quickly and with a
little more force behind it."
"I think it's important to recognize, as I said in my
remarks, these economies -- including the United States -- have
the capacity to do things now to make growth stronger.
Both to offset some of the pressure we're facing from
Europe, but also because the world as a whole needs it. Even
when Europe stabilizes, you're going to see growth damaged by
the magnitude of the crisis so far.
So there's a very strong rationale for economies that have
the capacity to do it to act now to strengthen growth."
"I think the judgment of most independent analysts and
economist who would look at the Chinese exchange rate would say
that it's still significantly undervalued.
That is one reason why -- although I don't want to put words
in their mouth -- that's one reason why the Chinese believe
it's in their interest to let the exchange rate continue to
move in response to market forces.
And our judgment is, it's better for market forces, it's
better for the world, it's better for the United States if
China allows the exchange rate to move more rapidly."
GEITHNER'S PREPARED REMARKS:
"The crisis in Europe remains the central challenge to
global growth. It is crucial that Europe move quickly to put
in place a strong plan to restore financial stability.
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."
"As the United States continues to work through the problems
that caused our crisis and Europe confronts a period of slower
growth, 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."
"This process of rebalancing will be aided by exchange
rate policies in China and other Asian economies that allow
their currencies to adjust in response to market forces.
China, in particular, must continue to allow its currency to
strengthen, and China has acknowledged the importance of faster
exchange rate adjustment."
PHILIPPINES FINANCE MINISTER CESAR PURISIMA
Asked what his concerns are about the situation in Europe,
he told reporters before attending a meeting of finance
ministers: "It is not being dealt with forcefully." On steps
the Philippines would take to manage any outflows or fallout:
"We will do whatever is necessary, but capital controls are
certainly not being considered right now."
On the economy: "We are doing very well."
On possible fiscal Stimulus: "We have a lot of fiscal space
if we need it....Whatever is necessary, we will be doing, our
interest rates are low."
U.S. COMMERCE SECRETARY JOHN BRYSON
"We've had such strong exports to Europe and now with the
European financial crisis those will come down, appear to be
coming down" Bryson told Reuters in an interview.
"There's not reason to think we can improve meaningfully in
Europe," but markets such as China, Malaysia, South Korea and
others in the Asia Pacific region offer more promise, he said.