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G20 determined to spur growth, pushes U.S. to ratify IMF reforms

English.news.cn   2014-04-12 06:17:50

WASHINGTON, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Policymakers from G20 nations said on Friday that they were determined to take realistic and concrete measures to shore up growth amid geopolitical risks and vulnerabilities.

They also urged U.S. Congress to pass long- delayed quota and governance reforms to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by year-end.

"We welcome the prospects for global economic growth to strengthen in 2014 but remain vigilant in the face of important global risks and vulnerabilities," finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of 20 leading economies said in a communique released after their meeting.

To meet their growth ambition to lift collective GDP by more than 2 percent over the coming five years, which was agreed in their Sydney meeting in February, the G20 nations vowed to address identified gaps in policy settings, lift and rebalance global demand and achieve exchange rate flexibility, and create substantial positive spillovers to each other and the world economy.

They reaffirmed that investment plays a critical role in lifting economic growth and employment, and that they would develop approaches to better leverage private sector involvement.

The IMF has slightly lowered the world economic growth projection to 3.6 percent for this year and 3.9 percent for next year, with rising risks facing the emerging market and the advanced economies picking up speed while plagued by persistently low inflation.

Representing more than 80 percent of the global GDP, the G20 nations consist of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

The G20 nations said they are monitoring the economic situation in Ukraine, mindful of any risks to economic and financial stability, and welcome the IMF's recent engagement with Ukraine as the authorities work to undertake meaningful reforms.

"The situation in Ukraine highlights the important role of the IMF as the world's first responder to financial crises. We agree that the IMF and the World Bank Group remain the institutions best placed to help countries to deal with their economic challenges through policy advice and catalytic financing," said the communique.

They said they were also "deeply disappointed" with the continued delay in IMF's quota and governance reforms. "We reaffirm the importance of the IMF as a quota based institution. The implementation of the 2010 reforms remains our highest priority and we urge the United States to ratify these reforms at the earliest opportunity," said the communique.

"We are committed to maintaining a strong and adequately resourced IMF. If the 2010 reforms are not ratified by year-end, we will call on the IMF to build on its existing work and develop options for next steps and we will work with the IMFC (the International Monetary and Financial Committee) to schedule a discussion of these options," it said. The IMFC is the IMF's main decision-making body.

The reforms were approved by most of the IMF's 188 member nations, but have been blocked by the United States, which has veto power over IMF decision, due to partisan disagreement.

On Friday when asked whether the IMF was preparing a "Plan B" with U.S. persistently blocking the agenda, Singapore Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, chairman of the IMFC, said that it was too early to talk about alternatives.

"We have every reason to think the 2010 reforms will be passed by the U.S.," he said at a G20 press conference.

IMF's Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Thursday that IMF is not giving up in pushing the quota reform, as it matters for the credibility of the institution.

"I very strongly hope that the resolve of the institution, the pressure brought to bear by the members of this institution on all those who have not yet ratified will deliver fruit in the not too distant future," she said.

The reform package includes a doubling of IMF quotas and a shift in quotas to dynamic emerging markets and under-represented countries, and a proposed amendment to reform the executive board to be more representative and all-elected.

If the reform package is implemented, four large emerging economies, namely China, India, Russia and Brazil, will all become the top 10 shareholders of the Washington-based global lender.

Editor: Mengjie
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