Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement at the opening of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Summit in Vladivostok, Russia on Sunday.
I am honored to have been invited to participate in discussions at the APEC Leaders meeting. It was a unique opportunity to exchange views on the world economy and on how the APEC economies are playing a crucial role in helping to address the risks and uncertainties that continue to weigh heavily on global growth.
The agenda for this meeting -- with its strong focus on enhancing trade and intensifying regional economic cooperation- -- is highly relevant in terms of helping the world address the urgent challenges of growth, employment, and competitiveness. The emphasis on rising food prices and the steps required to bolster food security is also both timely and important.
Given that the APEC economies represent more than half of global GDP, they are the bridge to a stronger global recovery. The policy actions needed to maintain this momentum are as varied as the conditions that face the different APEC economies. But there is a common goal: to ensure that they remain global growth leaders.
The APEC economies, of course, are not immune to developments in other parts of the world. There remains particular concern about Europe, and the euro zone. However, recently announced initiatives pave the way forward. The priority now is coordinated implementation by member states and institutions.
For APEC, the priority is to ensure that their economies remain resilient to external pressures, which means not only the right macroeconomic policies, but also measures to ensure that growth is more inclusive and can benefit as many people as possible. My discussions in Vladivostok lead me to believe that the APEC economies have the commitment and capacity to achieve this objective, despite the current headwinds facing the world economy.
I would like to thank President [Vladimir] Putin and our Russian hosts for their warm hospitality in this very impressive city.