Source: The Wall Street Journal (United States)
Source type: Newspaper
Published on: 18 Apr 2010
MADRID (Dow Jones)--European Union and Asian countries need to better coordinate their monetary policies, Spanish Finance Minister Elena Salgado said Sunday.
Improved cooperation would help the two regions emerge from the economic downturn and "avoid currency movements that disrupt the situation," Salgado told a news conference, following a summit in Madrid between EU finance ministers and their Asian counterparts.
Salgado said the group didn't discuss specific currency issues or the EU's concerns about the Chinese yuan. EU officials have said previously that China's currency, which is held in a narrow band against the dollar, gives the country's exports an unfair advantage in global markets.
Chinese officials weren't able to participate in the weekend summit due to canceled flights caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland, Salgado said. Other Asian countries sent lower-level officials to the meeting because of travel restrictions. Several EU officials, in Madrid for an earlier meeting of the bloc's finance ministers, left town before the meeting with Asian officials, taking buses and trains across Europe to return home.
In a statement published after the meeting, Salgado said that there was a risk the economic imbalances between the EU and Asia will widen as the global economy recovers. Many EU countries are struggling to emerge from recession, while Asian states are recording stronger economic expansion.
These imbalances are "a challenge for global macroeconomic and financial stability," Salgado said in the statement, which summarized subjects discussed during the meeting.
Salgado said the officials in attendance also agreed to avoid trade protectionism between EU and Asian countries.-By Adam Cohen, Dow Jones Newswires; +322 741 1486; email@example.com
(Jeffrey T. Lewis and Adam Mitchell in Madrid contributed to this article.)