International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn has warned governments to guard against complacency as the global economy recovers from its deepest recession in generations.
"Even if recovery is stronger and faster than expected, it's still fragile," Strauss-Kahn told reporters on Thursday.
"The world is still a dangerous place.
" The global recovery was "uneven," Strauss-Kahn noted.
Emerging economies like China and India were powering ahead while the recovery in wealthier nations was much more sluggish, highlighted by high unemployment and still weak private demand.
The growing budget deficits of governments in wealthier countries were also a worry.
Greece's debt crisis was serious, Strauss-Kahn said, but added there were no other euro-zone countries that the IMF was especially concerned about at the moment.
IMF and European Union officials this week began discussions with Greece over how to help the cash-strapped government.
Strauss-Kahn said the government's tough budget cuts were extremely necessary and in Greece's own interest.
The IMF in a semi-annual economic report released Wednesday predicted global growth of 4.
2 per cent this year.
But industrial nations would grow just 2.
3 per cent, while developing countries will add 6.
3 per cent in 2010.
Strauss-Kahn credited global cooperation with helping to avert a depression in 2009 and said governments should continue working together as they overhaul financial regulation to prevent another credit crisis.
Key elements of financial reforms should be agreed on the international stage by the end of the year, Strauss-Kahn said, suggesting President Barack Obama might be pushing too quickly for his own reforms in the United States.
Strauss-Kahn also offered his backing to a controversial tax levy against banks to "secure some resources" to help governments wind down failing banks in a future financial crisis without putting taxpayer funds on the line.
Finance ministers from the world's leading economies will discuss the proposed bank levy and how to keep the economic recovery going when the IMF and World Bank hold their spring meetings this weekend.