INDUSTRIALISED nations were last night poised to agree on a giant pool of export credits to help boost Asian economies and reinvigorate trade in the region's worst-hit countries. The unprecedented move came as finance ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialised nations also called for trade barriers in the region to be dismantled to stimulate greater capital flows. Several countries urged Japan to take a lead in finding a solution to the financial markets crisis. Yesterday, British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, presently holding the revolving presidency of the G7, said he wanted to present a united front aimed at stabilising the region. 'Restoring stability is important. Avoiding protectionism and getting growth and employment back in proper perspective is important,' he said. The message was echoed by a senior United States Treasury official who, following a separate bilateral meeting between US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and recently appointed Japanese Finance Minister Hikaru Matsunaga, said both countries would co-operate closely in easing the crisis. 'They agreed that the Asian crisis made strong domestic demand-led growth very important in all G7 countries,' the treasury official said. Mr Brown said the effect of Japan's growing trade surplus in particular had to be monitored carefully to ensure against trade barriers to Japanese exports. 'It's very important that there is no response from other countries in terms of protectionism,' he said. Mr Brown said it was important to learn as much from the crisis as possible. This would come through future meetings with Asian and other emerging markets and at the International Monetary Fund's Spring meetings. He said the lessons should then be delivered at the annual G7 leaders' meeting in May. Mr Rubin said, however, Japan must take a pre-eminent role in helping its regional neighbours out of financial difficulty by boosting domestic demand and strengthening the yen. Mr Rubin has consistently opposed any strengthening of the Japanese economy by deflating the yen, which would make it harder for ailing Asian exporters to compete in efforts to revive their own economies. Yesterday, Britain also called for a 'code of conduct on monetary and fiscal policies' and for all G7 members to agree on the need for greater openness and accountability.