Seoul, Beijing, Tokyo oppose protectionism

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Seoul, Beijing, Tokyo oppose protectionism

Finance chiefs from South Korea, China and Japan on Friday warned against growing protectionism trends and stressed the importance of promoting an open and rule-based trade framework.

“We stressed the importance of resisting all forms of protectionism, ensuring an open and rule-based multilateral trade and investment system, and of strengthening resilience against external shocks, and agree to further enhance communication and coordination among China, Japan and Korea,” they said in a joint statement released after their meeting in Manila.

The finance chiefs also said they should remain vigilant against downside risks that may threaten the recovery in the global economy. “We noted the risks posed by rising trade protectionism, faster-than-expected tightening in global financial conditions and uncertainty of geopolitical tensions,” the statement said.

The statement came as the world’s two superpowers - the United States and China - are competing to impose higher tariffs on each other’s goods that could escalate into a full-blown trade war.

Global equity markets have been rocked by concerns over the dispute between the two leading economies that can adversely affect other countries.

South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon attended the 18th Trilateral Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting here along with Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso and Yu Weiping, the assistant finance minister of China.

The three-way meeting was held on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting in the Philippines.

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