Monday, November 17, 2008

G20 Summit Pledge to 'Restore Growth'

Considering the state of the world economy, I have been shocked at how little play the G20 financial summit received in the media. The G20 group of countries consists of 19 leading industrialised and developing countries, as well as the European Union, it's a pretty powerful group, meeting during a pretty major crisis. Should this event not have received a little more headlines? Is it just because President-elect Barack Obama was not participating? Is it because most people have moved past George W. Bush, the host of the financial summit?


Well the financial summit did take place and the G20 world leaders came together in Washington DC and have pledged to work together to restore global growth. They said they were determined to work together to achieve "needed reforms" in the world's financial systems.

This financial summit brought together leading industrial powers, such as the US, Japan and Germany, and also emerging market countries such as China, India, Argentina, Brazil and others - representing 85% of the world economy. The significance of this G20 financial summit was clear to the emerging economies - they now have to be taken into consideration in the management of the global economy.

Key issues agreed by world leaders at the G20 financial summit included:

    • Reform of international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
    • An agreement by the end of 2008, leading to a successful global free-trade deal
    • Improvements to financial market transparency and ensuring complete and accurate disclosure by firms of theirfinancial conditions
    • Making sure banks and financial institutions' incentives "prevent excessive risk taking"
    • Asking finance ministers to draw-up a list of financial institutions whose collapse would endanger the global economic system
    • Strengthening countries' financial regulatory regimes
    • Taking a "fresh look" at rules that govern market manipulation and fraud
World leaders had lots of advice and suggestions. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the stalled Doha round of global trade talks should be pushed forward so that a basic agreement can be reached. France's President, Nicholas Sarkozy called for another summit in the spring of 2009. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the global financial structures created at the end of WWII were now inadequate, and said it will be necessary to rebuild the whole international financial architecture.

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