APEC finance ministers meeting in Beijing

AP News
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Posted: Oct 21, 2014 11:28 PM

BEIJING (AP) — Asia Pacific finance ministers are meeting Wednesday in Beijing to consider coordinated responses amid concerns over a slowdown in the regional economy highlighted by lower Chinese growth figures.

Opening the meeting of 21 ministers from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation economies, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said recovery from the global economic downturn had been tepid.

But he said China was on track to meet its loose goal of 7.5 percent growth for the year, with inflation stable and the economy set to produce more than 10 million new jobs.

"We have full confidence in the Chinese economy," said Zhang, who ranks seventh in the ruling Communist Party's hierarchy.

The meeting comes a day after China, the world's No. 2 economy, announced that economic growth had dwindled to a five-year low of 7.3 percent in the last quarter, raising concerns of spill-over effects on the global economy.

Wednesday's meeting is being chaired by China's finance minister Lou Jiwei and comes weeks ahead of APEC's leadership summit in Beijing.

Participants, including those from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, will discuss the regional economic outlook and discuss possible coordinated action to respond. An APEC news release said ensuring financing for infrastructure was among the issues to be discussed.