US is open to expanding G7, Paulson says

October 11th, 2008 - 8:46 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 11 (DPA) The US is open to letting more countries into the select group of top world economies known as the Group of Seven (G7), Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has said. Paulson Friday suggested the current bloc was not broad enough to deal with today’s economic problems, in a press conference just after G7 finance ministers and central bank heads met in Washington to discuss the financial crisis.

“I don’t think it reflects the global economy today,” Paulson said.

That feeling was part of his motivation for meeting the wider Group of 20 - which brings together industrial and developing countries - Saturday, Paulson said.

Developing countries have urged wealthier nations to include them in talks on resolving the financial turmoil, which has mainly struck banks in the US and Europe but has indirectly impacted much of the world.

Stocks across the globe have plummeted and poorer nations are struggling to bring in investment - part of a worldwide reluctance to issue risky loans.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for expanding the G7 last month. He was backed up this week by World Bank President Robert Zoellick, who suggested a “steering committee” of the world’s top 14 economies.

Paulson did not offer his own new configuration, but said he did “very much embrace the spirit” of Zoellick’s plan.

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