Canada wants G20 summit focus to be on growth

Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:17pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada called on Wednesday for this weekend's G20 summit on the global financial crisis to focus more on getting the world economy growing again rather than on regulatory issues.

"There are likely to be discussions about how we got here, and how to avoid having this happen again, and those things are probably more focused around financial regulations," an aide to Prime Minister Stephen Harper said ahead of the Washington summit.

"But I think for most countries who are suffering from a global economic slowdown, or trying to prevent themselves from falling into a recession, the more urgent focus is around getting the global economy growing again."

The official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, said Canada did not want "to get bogged down in the equivalent of constitutional talks around international financial regulation."

Harper said last week that the global economic outlook has become more pessimistic every week, and this appears to have shifted his focus more to immediate efforts to stave off serious economic dislocation rather than regulatory reform.

"Some of the fixes are not mysterious," the aide said. "A lot of problems on the regulatory side were problems at the national level and ... the quickest and easiest way to address them are also at the national level," the official said.

Canada's financial regulation system could serve as an example, he said, since its banks remain well capitalized with no mortgage crisis.

The official said he would assume some countries would talk about stimulus packages at the November 14-15 summit, which gathers important developed and developing nations at President George W. Bush's invitation.   Continued...

<p>The opening ceremony of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Chiefs Meeting in Sao Paulo, November 8, 2008. REUTERS/Rodrigo Paiva</p>