IMF Tokyo Meetings Show World Leadership Gap, Korea’s Bahk Says

Financial chiefs failed to agree on how to address global economic challenges at International Monetary Fund meetings in Tokyo, showing the world lacks leadership, South Korea’s finance minister said.

“Ministers discussed a short-term response for the global economy, but their opinions weren’t harmonized in one direction,” Bahk Jae Wan said in remarks to reporters yesterday embargoed for today, the last day of the IMF gathering. “The world has a leadership problem.”

The Washington-based IMF’s last week highlighted the risk of a deeper slowdown as Europe wrestles with its sovereign debt crisis. South Korean Central Bank Governor Kim Choong Soo said yesterday in Tokyo that Asian countries doubt the IMF’s transparency and fairness, underscoring the challenge of forging a unified response.

Participants in the IMF meetings discussed major risks to the global economy posed by Europe, the looming U.S. fiscal cliff and China’s slowing economy, Bahk said.

“The gap remains between the euro zone and other regions over solutions for Europe’s crisis and on how quickly they need to be addressed,” Bahk said. “The euro zone itself is far from a full agreement and the outcome from this IMF meeting is unlikely to help boost market confidence significantly.”

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

South Korea's finance minister Bahk Jae Wan. Close

South Korea's finance minister Bahk Jae Wan.

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Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

South Korea's finance minister Bahk Jae Wan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eunkyung Seo in Seoul at eseo3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net

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