Asia still faces uncertainty, warn ministers

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MICHEL CAMDESSUS, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said after the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit in Langkawi, Malaysia, that emerging economies should participate in the Financial Stability Forum, writes Diane Coyle. This group was set up in the wake of the financial crisis of the past two years.

Asian finance ministers warned that their economies still faced uncertainties despite signs of recovery. Their statement said: "The financial crisis in the region has abated and there are signs of a return in investor confidence... There are, however, significant risks to the outlook." The communique welcomed China's success in maintaining growth and pursuing economic reforms.

Separately, Taichi Sakaiya, head of Japan's Economic Planning Agency, said a supplementary budget to achieve growth could be an option this year. This follows a statement by Kiichi Miyazawa, finance minister, on Friday, that the government would compile a package of employment and competitiveness measures by mid-June.