(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) South Korea's finance minister Bahk Jae-wan called for countries of the world Friday to avoid falling back to protectionism and step up global cooperation to combat the current crisis and eventually achieve sustainable global growth.
Bahk Jae-wan made the request during his keynote speech at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in Tokyo. Finance ministers and central bankers of 188 countries joined the gathering to exchange views on the latest economic conditions.
"Owing to the strengthened international economic linkages, economic problems and policies of major countries can now spill over across the globe. And as global economic uncertainties intensify, countries could fall back to protectionism to safeguard national interests," Bahk told the meeting.
"To achieve sustainable global growth, we need to overcome national interests and step up policy cooperation at the global level," he added. He worried that the global economy faces many downside risks, pointing out the prolonged eurozone crisis and economic slowdowns in the emerging markets. In order to overcome the tough times, the minister underlined the need to strengthen "all layers of international policy coordination."
He, in particular, called for the eurozone countries to go ahead with fiscal consolidation through vigorous restructuring aimed at restoring market confidence and urged the countries to exercise strong political leadership to upgrade the existing union.
The South Korean minister also emphasized the importance of strengthening surveillance and firewalls against future market turbulence both at the regional and global levels.