Onus on G7 to push financial reform agenda -Canada

Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:47pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

OTTAWA (Reuters) - With world financial markets getting back on their feet, rich nations are in danger of forgetting the promised reforms that are needed to prevent the next economic crisis, a senior Canadian finance official said on Monday.

Ottawa hopes to light a fire under G7 finance ministers and central bankers at a meeting next month to inject a renewed sense of urgency into changes that go beyond the high-profile issue of imposing levies on banks and bonuses, officials told reporters in a briefing, on condition of anonymity.

The policy makers will discuss the need for a more flexible Chinese foreign exchange rate, as well as policy tweaks needed within the world's rich Group of Seven economies at the meeting in the Arctic town of Iqaluit on February 5-6.

Haiti relief and reconstruction efforts will also take a spot high on the agenda, since six of Haiti's seven largest donors are G7 members, the officials said.

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been invited to the meeting and is expected to attend.

There will be no final communique issued from the meeting, which marks a return to the G7's roots as an informal forum for solving the pressing economic problems of the day.

By not wasting time fretting over the wording of a communique for external consumption, the ministers and governors will be able to speak more openly and get more work done, the officials said. They will hold a final press conference.

The meeting will discuss the future role of the G7, now that it has been decided that the broader G20 grouping of wealthy and developing economies will be the main forum for economic discussions. There has been some suggestion that this may be the last such G7 meeting.

Holding the meeting in Iqaluit, an isolated Inuit community in Canada's Far North, where temperatures average -24 Celsius (-11 Fahrenheit) in February and Internet connections are spotty, was a deliberate signal that the talks would be devoid of their usual pomp and ceremony, according to the official.   Continued...