G-20 Summit to focus on safety net

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G-20 Summit to focus on safety net

A plan to build a global financial safety net will be a major topic when the leaders of the world’s 20 richest and emerging economies meet in Seoul in November, President Lee Myung-bak said yesterday.

Lee made his debut as the head of state of the Group of 20 chair nation in a special address at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Outlining his vision for November’s G-20 Summit in Seoul, Lee stressed Korea’s efforts to pay special attention to developing economies. “I have believed it is important to address not only the global macroeconomic imbalance, but also issues of reducing gaps between advanced and developing economies, as a part of efforts for sustainable growth of the world economy,” Lee said. “Therefore, Korea will consult with other G-20 member nations to add an agenda item devoted to developing nations for the Seoul summit.”

Lee also said another main agenda item at the G-20 Summit will focus on building a global financial safety net to help emerging and developing economies deal with drastic fluctuations in the flow of international capital. Noting that such nations had to invest excessively in accumulating foreign currency reserves, Lee said the financial safety net will allow them to better perform in the global economy.

“Emerging and developing countries have been forced to make unnecessary investments to keep their foreign currency reserves up in order to prepare for contingencies, and that has become a burden on economic growth,” explained a senior Seoul official. “Lee is seeking to find a new agreement to resolve the problem by creating a global financial safety net.”

“Bilateral and regional financial cooperative regimes must also be used as a part of our effort to regain financial stability,” Lee said in his speech, emphasizing that the benefits of sustainable growth should be shared not only among G-20 nations, but nonmember countries with developing economies.

Lee’s 15-minute special address, titled “Seoul G-20: Summit Priorities and Challenges,” also addressed other long-term issues to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth. The Seoul summit will further implement global financial reforms and look into the issue of the tendency toward turbulence in the financial system as well as the latest problems associated with the traditional policy of “too-big-to-fail” financial institutions.

“Going through the latest financial crisis, we have learned, once again, that international organizations did not have adequate capabilities to detect and prevent the situation,” Lee said. “At the Seoul summit, we will work further on strengthening the global watchdogs’ early warning and surveillance functions. To this end, we must never forget the importance of improving accountability and legitimacy of international financial organizations such as the International Monetary Fund.”

Lee said Korea also seeks to invite private sectors to participate in the G-20 process, planning a business summit in line with the government leaders’ meeting in Seoul. “To maintain sustainable growth, enterprises must join to create jobs and find new growth engines,” Lee said.

Praising the decision by world leaders to select G-20 as the premier forum of the new global order, Lee said the Seoul summit will serve as the first test for the G-20’s capabilities to deal with long-term world issues, urging the businessmen and world leaders to cooperate in the new era of globalization.

At the Davos forum, Lee was also scheduled to have bilateral meetings with leaders of Switzerland, Canada, Spain and Israel. Meetings with global tycoons such as Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Cisco CEO John Chambers are also on Lee’s itinerary. It was Lee’s second time to join the Davos forum. In 2006, Lee attended the event as Seoul mayor. This year’s forum is the 40th of its kind. About 2,500 government, political and business leaders from more than 90 nations attended the event, themed “Improve the State of the World: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild.”

By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]
Related Korean Article

北“서울 G20 때 금융안전망 주요 의제로 추가”

MB, 다보스포럼 특별연설

이명박(얼굴) 대통령은 28일(현지시간) 스위스 다보스에서 열린 세계경제포럼(다보스포럼) 특별연설에서 “11월 서울 주요 20개국(G20) 정상회의 때 글로벌 금융안전망(global financial safety net) 구축을 주요한 의제로 추가해 논의하겠다”고 말했다.

‘서울 G20 정상회의, 주요 과제와 도전’이란 제목의 연설에서 이 대통령은 “특히 국제 자본 흐름의 급격한 변동성으로 인해 각국이 과다하게 외환보유액을 축적해야 하는 어려움을 덜어 줘야 한다”고 강조했다.

정부 고위 관계자는 “외국 자본이 갑자기 빠져나가는 위기 상황에 대비, 신흥국이나 개도국들은 필요 이상의 외환보유액을 쌓아야 해 경제 성장에 부담으로 작용하고 있다”며 “금융안전망 구축으로 이런 문제점을 해결하자는 것”이라고 설명했다.

이 대통령은 버락 오바마 미국 대통령이 고강도 금융 규제를 추진하는 것과 관련, “대규모 금융기관의 대마불사(大馬不死·too-big-to-fail)에 대한 심도 있는 논의와 대책 마련에도 힘쓸 것”이라고 말했다.

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