PM to pitch for reforms at G-20 meet

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to make a strong pitch for larger role for India and other developing countries in the international financial architecture, when he will address the G-20 summit at Pittsburgh in the USA.

He will stress on measures to ensure that the regulatory failure that caused the global meltdown does not recur in future. Singh will also protest protectionist trend by some developed countries in the wake of the economic crisis.

“We hope that the Pittsburgh Summit will also address the issue of reform of international financial institutions. Therefore, we do have a proactive and constructive agenda when it comes to the G20 summit,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told journalists ahead of the Prime Minister’s departure for Pittsburg on Wednesday. The PM would also have bilateral meetings with other heads of states.

Manmohan to stress global financial reforms at G-20

Anirban Bhaumik, New Delhi, Sep 23, DHNS:

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to make a strong pitch for a larger role for India and other developing countries in the international financial architecture, when he addresses the G-20 summit at Pittsburgh in the US. He will lay stress on measures to ensure that the regulatory failure that caused the global meltdown does not recur in future. Singh will also protest protectionist trends on the part of some developed countries in the wake of the economic crisis.

“We hope that the Pittsburgh Summit will also address the issue of reform of international financial institutions. Therefore, we do have a proactive and constructive agenda when it comes to the G20 summit,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told journalists ahead of the prime minister’s departure for Pittsburg on Wednesday.

Besides attending the G-20 summit, the prime minister will have bilateral meetings with other heads of states. US President Barack Obama will chair the summit, which will be held on Thursday and Friday. Singh is likely to have a brief pull-aside meet with Obama too. “We would like to see the Pittsburgh Summit follow up on the regulatory measures that are required to ensure that such a crisis, which was in the first place the result of regulatory failure in the developed world, is not repeated. “We remain opposed to protectionism in all its forms covering trade and goods and services and investment,” she added.

The G-20 came into being in 1999 following the East Asian financial crisis as an informal forum comprising major developed countries and leading emerging market economies representing around 90 per cent of global GDP, 85 per cent of world trade and two-thirds of humanity. The G-20 had been traditionally meeting at the level of finance ministers and central bank governors. But in the wake of the global meltdown, the first summit was held in Washington DC on November 15, 2008, marking the arrival of dynamic emerging market countries at the global high table. This was followed by another summit in London on April 2 this year.

“While the earlier G-20 summits had focused on immediate action to contain a rapidly deteriorating downward spiral, the Pittsburgh Summit is likely to take a more long-term view of the global economy,” said the foreign secretary. Singh had attended both the earlier G-20 summits. India has been relatively less affected by the global crisis than other countries; but the impact has still been considerable.

New Delhi feels that the steps taken by the G-20 to augment the resources of multilateral development banks has led to substantial stepping up of World Bank lending to India. Likewise, the G-20 pressure on the Asian Development Bank to enhance its capital is likely to increase infrastructure funding for India. “The measures taken by the G-20 to stabilise financial markets and the global economy can be expected to lead to an early revival of private capital flows, and a step up in domestic growth through revival of external demand and exports,” said Rao.

Agenda

* Exchange of views on stimulus and growth measures while planning exit strategies
* Review of regulatory framework
* Reiterating commitment against protectionism
* Focus on reforms of international financial institutions
* Redressing requirements of mobilising resources for poor developing countries
* Sending out a strong political message calling for a balanced and successful outcome of the climate change negotiations in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at Copenhagen

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