G20 financial chiefs reach consensus: French finance minister

10:01, February 20, 2011      

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French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde attends a new conference after the G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Paris, capital of France, Feb. 19, 2011. Finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 dominant economies reached consensus on several indicators to monitor global economic imbalances on Saturday, Lagarde said here on Saturday. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)



Finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 dominant economies reached consensus on several indicators to monitor global economic imbalances on Saturday, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said at a new conference.

After two days of tense debate on "mutual economic assessment of all economies," "countries have reached compromises," the minister said.

"We agreed on a set of indicators that will allow us to focus, through an integrated two-step process, on those persistently large imbalances which require policy actions," said a communique released after the meeting.

According to Lagarde, the indicators include some internal factors, such as public debt and fiscal deficits, private savings rate and private debt, and some external factors, such as trade balance and net investment income flows and transfers. Following the list of imbalance indicators, the French minister said the next step is to agree by April on "indicative guidelines against which each of these indicators will be assessed," taking due consideration of exchange rate, fiscal and monetary policies. National and regional situations will be taken into account in future discussions, the communique said.

The "meeting was very cooperative" and full of "rich debate, deep discussion," French Central Bank Governor Christian Noyer said at the same press conference. He noted that he hoped that some short term objectives could be achieved in a few months.

Besides the imbalance indicators, the finance ministers and central bank governors adopted a timetable for developing the 2011 action plan to implement the Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth and monitor the commitments made in previous meetings.

As proposed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the meeting also agreed to enhance the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Future meetings are expected to identify coherent approaches and measures to deal with potentially destabilizing capital flows and global liquidity, as well as to discuss financial safety nets and the role of the special drawing rights ( SDR), according to the communique.

Both the IMF and the World Bank will present reports to the next meeting in April, when the second finance meeting under the French G20 presidency is to take place in the United States.

The third and final finance meeting will be held in October in Paris, when an ultimate agenda will be set for the G20 Summit scheduled in November in Cannes, France.

Source: Xinhua
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