Tough talks ahead for G20

Steve Dinneen
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THE hard-fought compromise may have saved this weekend’s G20 meeting from complete failure by winning Chinese backing for a set of indicators on economic imbalances, but the divided group faces a tougher task ahead in agreeing on how to use the list.

Members of the G20 will come together again in Washington in mid-April, at which time group leader France has said it hopes that terms can be set for the indicators.

French economy minister Christine LaGarde admitted the negotiations had not been easy, and that there was a long way to go before the indicators were finalised.

“Everyone agrees that the international monetary system will not be reshaped in a day or even in a year. These are not targets, goals, these are indicators,” she said.

UK Chancellor George Osborne spoke of his support for the indicators, emphasising that exchange rates were clearly included in the wording of the communique.

“We did take an important step forward by agreeing these indicators, which was quite a drawn-out process but we got to the right end-point.

“Very explicitly, in the communique it mentions exchange rates as part of the imbalances, as well as what we’d supported, which was public and private debt, and that gives us the green light to go forward to the April meetings to agree the guidelines by which we’re going to assess the indicators,” said Osborne.