Darling meets international finance ministers

By politics.co.uk staff

Chancellor Alistair Darling will meet many of his international counterparts in Rome today to set out the basis of a global response to the financial crisis.

The meeting will provide few concrete proposals, but should instigate the framework for the crucial London G20 meeting in April.

The new Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, will be attending – the first time the new US administration has attended a gathering of this sort.

The G7 meeting is restricted to the US, UK, Japan, Germany, Italy, France and Canada, but the London meeting includes many emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India.

Representatives from the IMF and the World Bank will be in attendance, as will Russia, although its minister is only expected to attend some of the meetings, which will go on over the weekend.

The meeting comes as the demand for protectionist policies echoes around Europe.

Mr Darling and prime minister Gordon Brown have unequivocally rejected that stance, saying enhanced global trade is the way out the crisis.