Asian finance ministers agreed at a meeting here Saturday that the global economy was on the up but cautioned that challenges remained. Finance ministers and central bank governors of the 10 ASEAN countries as well as China, Japan, and South Korea, or ASEAN+3, discussed the macro-economic situation in East Asia and regional financial cooperation at their 17th meeting. The meeting concluded developed economies were improving but the global economic recovery still faced challenges and its foundation remained fragile. They said the strong growth in East Asia was fuelled by robust domestic demand and appropriate macro-economic policies, but it faced challenges from tight external investment and internal structural problems. The meeting suggested each economy adjust macro-economic policies to address their own needs and deepen structural reforms to counter internal and external risks and challenges. In the meantime, the meeting urged all sides to further strengthen regional financial cooperation and coordination in their policy-making to facilitate healthy growth of the regional economy. At the meeting, Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei briefed his counterparts on China's economic situation and addressed concerns about China's slowing pace of growth. He said China's GDP grew 7.4 percent in the first quarter of this year while over 3 million new jobs were added. The inflation level was kept at 2.3 percent in the three-month period. He stressed that China's reduction in the pace of growth was rational and a result of rebalancing its economic structure. China would ease restrictions, adopt tax reforms, deepen development of the service sector, promote the process of urbanization, and reform the social welfare system to drive growth rather than employing large-scale short-term incentive policies, he said. A joint statement was issued at the end of the meeting.