G20 ministers commit to “sustained effort” to revive growth

By politics.co.uk staff

Finance ministers from the G20 countries have announced they are committed to a “sustained effort” to help revive growth in the global economy.

The ministers held discussions throughout the day in Sussex about what coordinated action was needed to deal with the current financial crisis.

It is hoped the meetings will pave the way for concrete advances in resolving the economic downturn when world leaders come together in London on April 2nd.

Speaking at Horsham this afternoon, UK chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling said there had been a great deal of agreement during the discussions and substantial progress had been made since talks held in Washington last year.

He said there was agreement regarding the urgency of the situation and a desire to do whatever was necessary.

The chancellor added the G20 nations remained committed to helping developing economies and there was an urgent need for an increase of IMF resources.

Mr Darling also said more needed to be done to strengthen banks and said restoring confidence was crucial.

He echoed a point made by prime minister Gordon Brown earlier in the day when he called for hedge funds to be regulated, with greater supervision of banks to prevent them from “over-stretching” themselves.

The chancellor also told reporters the G20 nations had agreed to ask the IMF to assess the impact of different fiscal stimulus plans to help decide what further action was necessary.

There is reportedly some disagreement, however, over what action is required next.

While US president Barack Obama has stressed the need for agreement on further government spending to bolster the global economy, France and Germany have expressed concerns over the impact such action would have on government finances.

Today’s meeting came a day after the Financial Times published a leaked memo from the Foreign Office which stated that lobbying efforts should be focused on 11 “priority” countries.

It described Canada, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, Australia and Argentina as being “Tier Two countries” and recommended relatively less attention being paid to their representatives at the meeting.

The World Bank warned the G20 nations on Friday further spending would only offer a brief “sugar high” if they failed to clean up their banks.