Emerging economies need to stay robust as global growth slows, say Apec ministers

GLOBAL growth is likely to be remain weak and risks remain tilted to the downside, cautioned Asia-Pacific trade and foreign ministers yesterday.

This is why developing economies in the region need to take measures and stay robust, so that the Asia-Pacific can continue to be a reliable engine for global growth.

The warning came at the end of a two-day meeting of ministers of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) grouping in Bali.

In a 19-page joint statement, Apec ministers noted that their economies have “taken a number of important policy actions that have helped contain key tail risks, improve financial market conditions and sustain the recovery”.

“Nevertheless, the economic outlook suggests growth is likely to be slower and less balanced than desired,” they added.

Briefing the media on the outcome of the two-day meeting, Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said that his counterparts discussed, in particular, the risk posed by the US’ decision to reduce its bond-buying programme - a move that could lead to interest rates rising across the world.

“This is something that Apec has take note of. There is a recognition of this being a real concern because we are also seeing growth deceleration in many large Asian economies,” he said.

ignatius@sph.com.sg