G20 leaders offer insights at plenary session

08:51, June 28, 2010      

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Heads of state and government on Sunday began discussing and offering insights on measures that could help the global economic recovery.

While opening the first plenary session of the summit, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called upon the leaders to act with the same unity, same sense of urgency and same commitment as they did in the depth of the global financial and economic crises.

"Now as before we must work and act together," said Harper, adding that the recovery is still fragile.

As the world's premier forum for international economic cooperation, the G20 Summit needs to "begin to develop a framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth that we promised the world in Pittsburgh," the Canadian prime minister added.

He also listed fiscal deficits and debt levels in advanced countries, the premature end to stimulus, regulatory reforms of the financial sector, and the siren sound of protectionism as some of the major issues for the leaders to discuss during the summit.

Leaders of the world's biggest economies, including Chinese President Hu Jintao, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, as well as heads of a number of international organizations and leaders of a few non-G20 countries, were present at the full session, which is expected to discuss and adopt a final document for the summit.

The Chinese president agreed with the prime minister of the summit host nation. He said the G20 needs to be turned from an effective mechanism to counter the international financial crisis to a premier platform for advancing international economic cooperation.

"We need to accelerate the establishment of a new international financial order that is fair, equitable, inclusive and well-managed," added the Chinese leader.

Chinese President Hu said an open and free global trading regime is also needed to turn the tides of the crisis.

The G20 Summit in Toronto is expected to build on the previous three summits held in Washington, London and Pittsburgh since the outbreak of the global financial and economic crises in 2008.

It was the first G20 Summit in its new capacity as a premier forum for international economic cooperation and policy coordination, as determined at the previous summit in Pittsburgh last September.

Major topics being discussed at the Toronto summit included securing recovery and restoring balance to public finances, reforming the global financial system, strengthening international financial institutions, and liberalizing trade and investment.

This year's G20 Summit took place just hours after the conclusion of the annual Group of Eight (G8) Summit held at Huntsville also in Canada, to make the country the first ever back-to-back host to both events.

The G20 members, namely Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United States and the European Union, account for 90 percent of global output, 80 percent of world trade and two-thirds of the world's population.

Also during the plenary session, the Chinese president offered his country's example and experience while elaborating the role strong and sustainable growth plays in China's dealing with the ongoing financial and economic crises.

"To ensure strong growth is the top priority in today's world economic development," the Chinese leader said, "to enable sustainable growth is our long-term objective."

But the Chinese president pointed to the fact that balance should be integrated with strong and sustainable growth.

"To achieve balanced growth through the transformation of the economic development pattern is necessitated by the calling of our times," Hu added.

Source: Xinhua


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