U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner speaks to the press at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
HONOLULU (AP) — Pacific rim finance ministers pledged Thursday to take decisive action if necessary to prevent the spillover from Europe’s financial woes from further undermining growth and financial stability across the region.
The government debt crisis in Europe remains the central challenge to global growth, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said ahead of a Pacific summit this weekend that encompasses economic giants such as the U.S. and China and small nations including New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
The European Union has warned that the 17 countries that use the euro common currency could slip into “a deep and prolonged recession” next year as the debt crisis that has already engulfed Ireland, Portugal and Greece has shown alarming signs of spinning out of control. A European recession would be felt sharply in the U.S., where growth is already anemic, and in Asia, which relies on Europe as a big market for its cars, clothing, consumer electronics and other exports.
“It is crucial that Europe move quickly to put in place a strong plan to restore financial stability,” Geithner said. “They’re moving ahead, but we just need them to move ahead more quickly and with more force behind it.”
The finance ministers from the 21 economies that make up the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum discussed ways to re-energize economic growth and create jobs through practical measures such as investment in infrastructure and Login to read more