Mainland joins crisis group
SHEEL KOHLI in Washington
The mainland is to join a select group of countries that will meet regularly to discuss financial market and economic developments in a bid to forestall future crises.
It is to be a founding member of the G20, which will include the Group of Seven industrialised countries, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The mainland is one of 11 so-called 'systemically important countries' whose markets are large enough to have a potentially contagious effect on other nations.
The formation of the G20, announced yesterday after a meeting of the G7 finance ministers in Washington, follows the recent financial crises in emerging markets showed the potentially destabilising impact the collapse of one market could have on others.
The plan is to establish a mechanism for informal dialogue within the framework of the IMF and the World Bank to broaden dialogue on key economic and financial policies among the member countries.
The G7 said regular meetings of the G20 would help foster 'co-operation to achieve stable and sustainable world economic growth that benefits all'.
'We believe that discussions held in this group will prove useful to complement and reinforce the role of the [IMF and the World Bank].' The G20, also including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey, is to meet for the first time in Berlin in December.
It will be joined by Finland, which holds the presidency of the European Union, and the European Central Bank. Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin will be the group's first chairman.