U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Thursday urged Europe to move quickly to restore financial stability, saying the crisis in Europe remains the central challenge to global growth.
Speaking at a news conference after attending the finance ministers' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, Geithner said European countries have been working to put in place a broad comprehensive framework to help strengthen their financial system and protect Europe, but they need to move more quickly.
"That basic framework is a good framework but it needs to be put in place with a speed that markets require and a force that restore confidence," he said.
Geithner said all APEC economies are directly affected by the eurozone crisis, though they are relatively in a better position. He also encouraged APEC economies to take steps to strengthen growth in the face of the pressures from Europe.
"The principal focus of our discussions was how to help strengthen growth around the world and make it more balanced and sustainable in the future," he said.
While APEC economies are the most vulnerable to a global slowdown, they can also play the greatest role in contributing to the global recovery, Geithner said.
"The APEC economies account for more than half of global GDP, and the bulk of these economies are likely to grow significantly faster in coming years than the rest of the world," Geithner said. "Their rebalancing efforts are critical to the foundations of strong, sustainable global growth."