Sat, March 14, 2009
World > International Organizations

G20 finance ministers, bankers meet in Britain for talks on financial crisis

2009-03-14 03:09:28 GMT2009-03-14 11:09:28 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Britain's Finance Minister Alistair Darling arrives for the G20 Finance Ministers meeting at a hotel, near Horsham, in southern England March 13, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

China's Finance Minister Xie Xuren (L, Front) arrives at the meeting place in Horsham, 50 kilometers south of London, Britain, on March 13, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Australia's Finance Minister Wayne Swan arrives prior to the G20 Finance Ministers meeting at a hotel near Horsham, in southern England March 13, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

France's Finance Minister Christine Lagarde arrives at a hotel, where the G20 Finance Ministers meeting will be held, near Horsham in southern England March 13, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

HORSHAM, Britain, March 13 (Xinhua) -- G20 finance ministers and central bank governors arrived here Friday to hold discussions over how to deal with current financial crisis. The formal meeting will be held Saturday.

The G20 Finance Minister and Central Bank Governor Meeting, held in Horsham, southern part of England, and hosted by Alistair Darling, Chancellor of UK, is considered as a preparatory one to pave the way for G20 London Summit on April 2 with the topic of "stability, growth and jobs."

On Friday evening and Saturday, the finance ministers and central bank governors from both advanced economies and emerging and developing economies, will discuss such important issues as how to take short-term and long-term measures to deal with financial and economic crisis, how to reshape the global financial system and how to improve the role of the international financial institutions including International Monetary Fund.

Xie Xuren, China's Finance Minister, and Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of China's central bank have arrived here, and they will set forth China's standpoints over such issues as how to increase the voice of emerging and developing economies in the international financial system, which is to be reshaped, and how to fight against trade and financial protectionism at the meeting.

Ahead of the G20 Finance and Central Bank Governors Meeting, divergences between the U.S. and the European Union (EU) have emerged and gradually widened . The U.S. hopes the London Summit will focus on how to increase spending to stimulate economy, while the EU wants to give priorities to reform the international financial system. European countries have little appetite to further build up their debts to stimulate their economies. Japan has backed America's standpoint, saying that April's G20 summit should focus on the need for immediate co-ordinated action to support the world economy rather than long-term efforts to reform the international financial system.

Therefore, finance ministers and central bank governors should try to remove these divergences in such a short time period so as to make good preparations for the London Summit, which is pinned great hope to create some clear and concrete measures to deal with the current crisis. However, it is widely believed that these divergences could not be removed at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governor Meeting and will continue to display at the G20 London Summit.

As the host of the G20 London Summit, British Prime Minister has been working hard to encourage G20 countries to reach agreement over the above-mentioned issues all the time. Recently, he visited America and tried to get support from the American government, but he almost gained nothing. This has cast shadow over the upcoming London Summit.

Though Germany and France have reached a consensus to insist that next month's G20 Summit should focus on tougher global financial regulations and rejected US calls for European countries to spend more on supporting economic growth, the two big European states are worried that the priority of the London Summit would be shifted from "reforming international financial system" to "coordinating to stimulate global economy."

Last month, the British government publicized a report with the title of "Road to the London Summit," saying that three commitments should be made: First, to take whatever action is necessary to stabilize financial markets; Second, to reform and strengthen the global financial and economic system to restore confidence and trust; and Third, to put the global economy on track for sustainable growth.

However, current situation has showed that it is quite difficult for G20 countries to make such commitments at the Summit. It is also hard to put these commitments into practice even though they are made.

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