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G20 finance ministers to finalize agenda

10-23-2010 08:14 BJT

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Finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 major economies, have begun talks in South Korea. They're desperately trying to find ways to resolve the sticky global currency row, and set the agenda for next month's summit.

Coming into the two-day meeting in Gyeongju, some 370 kilometers south of Seoul, the US sought numerical targets for the size of trade surpluses and deficits of countries. But that proposal is being rejected by China, India, Germany and Japan.

Yoshihiko Noda, Japan Finance Minister, said, "We need to talk about it first, but numerical targets are unrealistic."

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reportedly said "countries with persistent surpluses should undertake structural, fiscal and exchange rate policies to boost domestic sources of growth".

In return, countries such as the United States that are running big budget and trade deficits would adopt "sustainable medium-term fiscal targets".

The American stance is supported by Canada, but rejected by most of the developing countries and some developed nations.

Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said economic fundamentals should be reflected in foreign exchange rates. He also warned that excessive volatility in currency markets is harmful to the stability of the global economy and financial system.

Noda's comments underscore predictions that currency issues will take center stage at the meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 rich and emerging nations in Seoul next month.

The gathering in Gyeongju on Friday comes just two weeks after the finance leaders failed at a meeting in Washington, to iron out differences that have led to fears of a currency war that could trigger another economic downturn.

But a South Korean government official said the fact finance officials were discussing the currency issue was itself a "good achievement."

Officials at the meeting are also set to discuss controversial issues such as IMF reforms, and setting new financial rules to better regulate the global market.

The meeting will end Saturday with a joint communique, on which chair country South Korea hopes to convey tangible outcomes on major issues.

 

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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