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October 24, 08

NEWS / Bush Calls Economic Summit for November 15

By Merle D. Kellerhals Jr.
Staff Writer

Washington — The leaders of 20 nations have been invited to attend an economic summit in Washington to discuss the current financial crisis, its causes and efforts to resolve it through more effective regulation and reform, the White House says.

“In addition, we expect that the leaders will discuss the effects of the crisis on emerging economies and developing nations,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said October 22. A growing concern among developed economies is what impact the current financial crisis will have long-term on developing nations and foreign financial assistance.

President Bush is inviting the members of the Group of 20 to a “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy” to be held in the Washington area November 15. It will be the first of a series of summits to bring together world leaders who participate in the G20 finance process to discuss current economic issues.

Bush met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso in the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, over the weekend of October 18 to discuss the economic crisis. Plans for the summit were developed during that meeting, Perino said.

“The summit will also provide an important opportunity for leaders to strengthen the underpinnings of capitalism by discussing how they can enhance their commitment to open, competitive economies, as well as trade and investment liberalization,” Perino said.

The G20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

“The G20 finance process, which includes key developed and emerging market countries, was established in 1999 after the last financial crisis with worldwide implications,” Perino said.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, World Bank President Robert Zoellick, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Financial Stability Forum Chairman Mario Draghi have been asked to attend.

Perino said a White House dinner will be held the night before the summit.

“The leaders will review progress being made to address the current financial crisis, advance a common understanding of its causes and, in order to avoid a repetition, agree on a common set of principles for reform of the regulatory and institutional regimes for the world’s financial sectors,” Perino said.

The principles developed at this first summit will be elaborated by working groups for consideration at subsequent summits.

Perino said it is uncertain if the new president-elect will be invited to attend the summit meeting. The U.S. presidential election will be held November 4.

“We will seek the input of the president-elect,” she said. The summit comes about two months before Bush leaves office.

“The time will be just about right to have it then because a lot of the emergency measures that these countries have put forward are hopefully starting to have an impact on thawing the credit market,” Perino said.

Perino said Bush thinks it’s critical to include developing nations in the talks because they are important in the global economy on a variety of levels.



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