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China makes IDB bid at Oki meet

Date Posted: 2005-04-19

China, the world’s fastest growing nation, put its cards on the table this week for joining the Inter-American Development Bank.

The IDB, with 4,000 participants at its annual conference in Okinawa, is taking the request under advisement. Last year’s IDB convention was in Lima, Peru. The economics oriented leaders from 47 countries spent much of the three-day conference discussing fears that the weak American dollar can wreak havoc on their individual countries’ economies. The IDB supports a strong U.S. dollar.

Japan’s Treasury Secretary, Sadaichi Tanigaki, told the delegates “South and Middle America have been growing quickly the past year, but the economic situation for the general population of poor people has not been improving, and we have concern.” Tanigaki, who hosted the three-day event, says “we have to reform life environment which allows continued economic growth in the world, and that will make small and middle size enterprises grow, promote business and increase employment.”

Korea, which became an IDB signatory this year, saw vice prime minister Kan Shin Juu backing China’s IDB bid. Chile’s Minister of Finance agreed, noting the dollar is down significantly and the Chinese economic markets are stalled, posing a financial risk for the world unless IDB promotes change.

The IDB was last held in Japan at Nagoya in 1991. The financial exchange capped with a banquet at Okinawa’s Shuri Castle, where guests were feted in the main courtyard. Welcomed by Governor Keiichi Inamine, he stressed friendship and told of Okinawa’s proverb that “you are my brothers and sisters. You are my family already when we met this first time. I want you to be friends forever.”

The Okinawan feast presented tofu, the island’s original hers, rices, beef and pork, and a full course local meal.

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