SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 13 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday called on Pacific Rim treasury ministers to boost the productive capacity of their economies while financing the transition to low-carbon energy and expanding opportunities for the poor to offer.
Opening a meeting of the finance ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation countries, Yellen said the group’s economic dynamism means the actions they take are important in tackling global problems.
Yellen said in prepared remarks that the 21 APEC economies needed to work together to achieve the goals for the US’s 2023 hosting year of creating an “open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful community in Asia and the Pacific.”
A day after the APEC Secretariat issued new forecasts of slowing growth next year amid an ongoing inflation battle and tensions between the US and China, Yellen said the group needed to increase potential output.
“We must further improve our long-term economic prospects by boosting labor supply, innovation and infrastructure investment in ways that are also sustainable and reduce inequality,” Yellen said.
“We must put ourselves on a sustainable growth path, one in which we protect our planet while providing our economies with the clean energy they need to grow. And we must leverage emerging technologies to drive innovation while keeping financial markets safe,” Yellen added. .
The meeting of APEC finance ministers comes ahead of the APEC leaders’ summit later this week and a high-stakes meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping aimed at easing tensions between the two largest economies in the world.
Yellen agreed Friday with her Chinese counterpart, Vice Prime Minister He Lifeng, to step up communications as she warned Beijing’s new economic czar to crack down on Chinese aiding Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.
The agenda for the meeting includes adding more workers to APEC countries’ workforces, investing in infrastructure and research, and mobilizing resources to accelerate net-zero emissions targets. Yellen said the Just Energy Transition Partnerships for Vietnam and Indonesia, funded by G7 countries, multilateral development banks and private sector investors, are excellent examples of this work.
The meeting will also include discussions on the development of carbon markets and the Treasury’s principles for financial firms’ net-zero commitments, which will require their lending and investments to be in line with targets to stem global temperature rise by mid-2020. the century to 1.5 degrees Celsius. of digital assets.
Yellen will hold a closing press conference on Monday evening.