YOKOHAMA, Japan, May 5 (Yonhap) -- Chief financial policymakers of South Korea, Japan and China have vowed to fight against "all forms of protectionism" amid growing concerns of U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist policies.
Finance ministers and central bank governors of the three nations made the pledge Thursday after their meeting on the sidelines of an annual gathering of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), according to their joint statement.
The Northeast Asian powers agreed that "trade is one of the most important engines of economic growth and development," the statement said.
They "will resist all forms of protectionism," the statement said.
The language is seen as being stronger than a statement issued by the financial chiefs of the Group of 20 economies in March, in which they dropped the line against protectionism apparently in the face of opposition from the United States.
The three nations said the pace of a recovery in the global economy is quickening on the back of manufacturing growth accompanied by a recovery in financial markets.
However, they will step up cooperation in the face of lingering uncertainties in the global economy and geopolitical risks, according to the statement.
On Friday, South Korea's Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho and his Singaporean counterpart Heng Swee Keat held talks on the sidelines of the ADB gathering.
Yoo told Heng that the two nations must take a leading role in promoting free trade worldwide and pre-emptively cope with uncertainties in the global financial market, according to his ministry.