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Sunday, 10 February, 2002, 00:53 GMT
G7 upbeat on global economy
Italian G7 Deputy Minister Domenico Siniscalo (left), Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti (centre) and Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin
Ministers said risks of a downturn remain
The world's seven leading industrialised states have said prospects of an upturn in a global economy hit by the 11 September attacks on America have strengthened, although risks remain.

Since we last met, prospects have generally strengthened for resumed expansion in our economies, although risks remain

G7 statement
In a statement issued at the end of a two-day meeting in Canada, foreign ministers and central bank governors said they would remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to promote a strong and sustained recovery.

However, there was no concrete pledge of financial aid to Argentina, struggling to meet a foreign debt mountain and deal with its worst economic crisis in decades.

Officials from the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrial nations said the Argentine government had taken "steps in the right direction" in dealing with the turmoil.

They encouraged the country to continue to "work closely with the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the international community" in developing a reform programme.

Poverty gap

The group was meeting in Ottawa for the first time since October last year, when the impact of the attacks on America were being felt on the world's financial systems.

The Group of Seven

United Kingdom
United States

The delegates said they would "continue to monitor exchange markets closely and co-operate as appropriate".

The group discussed the plight of the world's poorer countries, and how to reduce poverty and raise living standards in underdeveloped nations.

The officials promised to work with other donors to ensure additional resources were made available.

But, the G7 said, there was a need for more effective use of development assistance from the international community and "a commitment to sound policies, good governance and the rule of law by all countries".

Support for Russia

The policymakers also discussed Russia's economic policies, saying they were encouraged by its "strong growth and significant structural reforms".

But they said more needed to be done, including cracking down on terrorist funding.

The ministers and central bankers said they backed Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organisation as soon as possible.

The group warned that emerging markets faced mixed economic and financial market conditions and called on them to continue "to implement policies conducive to investment and economic growth".

The talks also focused on ways to prevent financial crises from occurring

The group said a better framework, which included the private sector, was needed to avert and resolve economic problems.

It said it would review progress in this area at its next meeting, planned for Canada, in June.

The BBC's Lee Carter in Toronto
"The ministers of the world's wealthiest nations are more optimistic than last October"
See also:

11 Feb 02 | Business
Argentina prepares to defend peso
08 Feb 02 | Business
G7 to discuss world recovery
05 Feb 02 | Business
Annan plea to help world's poor
01 Feb 02 | Business
Forum hopes for economic recovery
30 Jan 02 | Business
US economy shows unexpected strength
30 Jan 02 | Business
Bush promises to defeat recession
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