Sun, Oct 16, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Hu asks for cooperation at G20

'GREATER SINCERITY' The Chinese president urged developed nations to do more for developing countries to aid 'balanced and orderly development'


World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, center, arrives for a press briefing during a break for the seventh G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in the Shenan Palace Hotel of Grand Epoch City in Xianghe, Hebei Province, yesterday. Wolfowitz said that unless the developed nations of the world make greater concessions to the Doha accords, the poorest people in the world will suffer.


Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) called for progress on freeing up global trade, boosting economic growth and fighting poverty as he opened a meeting of top finance officials yesterday.

"There are financial turbulences from time to time and new manifestations of trade barriers and protectionism," said Hu at the opening of the Group of 20 rich and major developing nations. "Facing all this, we must strengthen international cooperation to seize opportunities and meet challenges together so as to promote balanced and orderly development of the world economy."

Addressing G20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Hu urged all countries to adopt responsible economic policies, maintain exchange-rate stability and counter protectionism.

The G20 brings together the seven biggest industrialized nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US -- with population giants and key developing nations such as China, India and Brazil.

Hu called for progress in talks on freeing up global trade ahead of a crucial meeting of the WTO in Hong Kong in December.

He urged the 148 member countries to "display greater political sincerity and demonstrate the necessary flexibility to vigorously push forward the Doha round" of trade talks that started four years ago.

He was speaking days after the US and EU again failed to reach a deal on cutting farm subsidies, a major stumbling block.

"We should energetically support the establishment of an open, fair, reasonable and non-discriminative multilateral trading system," Hu said.

This would help "create a sound trading environment for global economic growth for the benefit of all countries -- developing countries in particular."

"The development of the multilateral trading system is now at a crucial stage," Hu said. "The outcome of the Doha round will have a direct impact on promoting balanced and orderly world economic development."

Speaking after oil topped US$70 a barrel in August, Hu also called for "concerted efforts to stabilize the global energy market."

This would help "forge an environment for the adequate supply and safe, economical and clean use of energy to fuel world economic growth," he said.

The G20 includes the US and other large energy consumers as well as major oil producers Saudi Arabia, Russia and Indonesia.

Delegates were expected to discuss reforms to the IMF and the World Bank, whose leaders were attending the meeting, and assess progress in fighting global poverty.

Hu urged wealthy nations to help poor countries grow.

"The developed countries should earnestly honor their commitments in poverty reduction, financial assistance and debt relief," he said.

The meeting also put the spotlight on China, the fastest-growing major economy, which runs a huge trade surplus and has been involved in disputes with the US and the EU over its surging textile exports.

China is routinely criticized for its development strategy, which combines a freewheeling market economy with a tightly controlled political system, but Hu said political stability had been a key factor in China's rise.

"China has ample labor re-sources, large demand in its domestic market, a high savings rate and social and political stability," he said. "All these have been favorable conditions for the relatively high economic growth in China."

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