IMF warns Asia of spillovers from European crisis


Singapore : A top International Monetary Fund (IMF) official Wednesday warned Asia of possible spillovers from the European debt crisis, but said the region was in a good position to take up challenges from the shockwaves of the global recession.

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“Adverse developments in Europe could disrupt global trade, with implications for Asia given the still important role of external demand,” IMF’s Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara told a seminar here.

Asia would continue leading the global economy forward, he said, but warned that the region’s bright growth prospects would likely attract more capital which “could lead to risks of overheating in some economies.”

“Nevertheless, while Asia is not immune from developments elsewhere in the world, the region is in a very strong position to tackle these risks,” Shinohara said.

The strong fiscal position of most Asian economies provided space to respond flexible to the European debt crisis, he said, as “there is ample room in most Asian economies to pause the withdrawal of fiscal stimulus” introduced to tackle the global recession.

“The key will be for (Asian) policymakers to keep an eye on the bigger picture and be ready to act swiftly as developments unfold,” he said.

Shinohara said Asia’s economic success would make the region “a leading force in reshaping the global economy”.

“With Asia’s economic muscle growing, the policy choices made in this region will have an important impact on the global economy,” he said.

Shinohara said although the global recovery was proceeding “in large part as we had expected”, the European debt crisis and the associated financial market volatility “have reminded us all that the recovery is fragile and still subject to considerable risks”.