India hopes G20 summit will find solution to financial crisis

November 14th, 2008 - 11:17 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 14 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives here Friday for a summit of the world’s 20 leading economies with the hope that it would lead to corrective measures to check the global financial crisis and prevent a future one.Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is accompanying the prime minister but Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and economic affairs secretary Ashok Chawla are already in Washington preparing the groundwork for the Group of 20 (G20) summit.

As Manmohan Singh said before leaving for Washington, “as a major developing economy which is getting increasingly integrated with the global economy, India has a vital stake in the stability of the international economic and financial system”.

India would also seek a strengthening of the international institutions, both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank as well as regional development banks “to ensure that the fallout on the developing countries of the global crisis is minimal”.

Ahead of the summit, host President George W. Bush called for overhauling the “outdated” regulatory structures of the financial industry, but warned against reinventing the free market system that has spurred economic growth for decades.

“It would be a terrible mistake to allow a few months of crisis to undermine 60 years of success,” Bush said in a speech in New York Thursday, offering a broad defence of US-style capitalism and free markets.

Bush warned that the challenges facing the global economy were “too large” to be solved in one meeting. Leaders will establish the “principles” of regulatory reforms and task lower-level working groups to come up with the specifics in the coming months.

European governments had been pushing for a wholesale overhaul of the global financial system, but have since backed away from the heavy rhetoric of October amid signs of internal discord in the European Union (EU).

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who will be representing the EU at the summit, has said that he is not going to be participating in the gathering for a “polite conversation” on the financial crisis.

Explaining his remarks, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner Thursday told CNN: “We want to find the beginning of the whispering of a solution, not just to be polite, not just to meet with the 19 other countries. We hope it will start a process, it will be a process of regulation-financial regulation all over the world.”

Asked what can be achieved in a meeting of the world leaders hosted by a lame-duck US president, he said: “We will certainly achieve nothing, but we will achieve the beginning of a process…Of course the new administration would come and take this burden on their robust shoulders.”

The White House Thursday said it expected a follow-up summit some time in the first three months of next year. The US delegation to that meeting will be headed by President-elect Barack Obama.

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