The recovery of crisis-hit East Asian economies requires world economic and financial support and time-consuming efforts to implement social and structural reforms, the president of the World Bank said Wednesday.
James Wolfensohn is currently in Tokyo to further strengthen the World Bank’s partnership with Japan and to discuss a wide range of issues regarding East Asian economies with Japanese government officials.
Speaking at a symposium organized by the bank Wednesday in Tokyo, Wolfensohn said that the recovery of the Japanese economy will be difficult to achieve without the recovery of other Asian economies. “Today, the issue of dealing with recovery is not just limited to Thailand, Korea and Indonesia,” he said. “It can be conveyed throughout the world by lack of confidence, by lack of trade and by lack of liquidity.”
The world should not allow these economies to lose the benefits of the enormous advances they have made over the last 25 years, including improvements in literacy, poverty and development, Wolfensohn said.
In response to the current crisis, a series of financial packages have been announced under the leadership of the International Monetary Fund, including $52 billion for South Korea and $17 billion for Thailand. The debate has recently centered on aid packages for Brazil and Russia.
While acknowledging the need to provide economic and financial support to these ailing Asian economies, Wolfensohn urged the international community to help them implement social and structural reforms.
“Let’s attack corruption. Let’s make sure we have a social safety net. But each of these issues is not an issue solved by a check. It is not solved within a matter of months,” he said.
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