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Sunday, 21 April, 2002, 00:50 GMT 01:50 UK
G7 presents plan to improve growth
Finance ministers from the Group of Seven industrialised nations at the US Treasury building
G7 ministers met ahead of the weekend spring meetings
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David Schepp
BBC News Online North America business reporter
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Finance ministers from the world's richest nations have released a plan to prevent economic crises, such as the one currently being experienced in Argentina.


The world economy has just come through a very uncertain period

Paul Martin, Canadian finance minister
Officials from the Group of Seven (G7) industrialised nations also agreed to help one another in cutting off financing to terrorist groups around the globe.

The G7, comprised of the United States, Canada, Italy, Britain, France, Germany and Japan, said monetary policies implemented in the wake of 11 September have helped promote economic recovery following last year's slowdown.

Nevertheless, the finance ministers warned that risks to the recovery remain, including a sharp rise in oil prices in recent weeks.

Argentine crisis

The G7 laid out a new framework for maintaining economic stability and preventing future crises that it intends to review in the coming months.

People line up to try and enter the Buenos Aires branch of Scotiabank Quilmes
The G7 says its plan could prevent crises like the one in Argentina
The group announced an action plan it said would improve stability, growth, and potential living standards in developing countries.

G7 officials also expressed concern over the current economic crisis in Argentina and said they support the IMF and the work it is doing with the South American nation.

Those efforts include upgrading bankruptcy and other laws and other reforms, which the G7 said were needed in order to raise the living standards for Argentines.

Middle East conflict

Economic recovery from the slowdown is underway, the G7 noted, crediting in part aggressive monetary policies implemented after 11 September.

"The world economy has just come through a very uncertain period," Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin said in a written statement. "While some of the risks have abated, other risks remain."

A Palestinian man inspects the damage in the Palestinian Ministry of Public Works in Ramallah
Unrest in the Middle East has sent oil prices higher
Among those is the unrest in the Middle East, which has sent oil prices higher in recent weeks.

World Bank and IMF officials this weekend also have expressed caution about spiking costs for oil but cautioned oil prices would have to accelerate quickly and substantially before having a major impact on the world economy.

For their part, the G7 warned oil-price shocks could stunt the economic recovery it says is progressing in much of the world.

The G7 ministers met on Friday in advance of the weekend's meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

The meetings have been characterised by relative calm than those of the recent past. Protesters so far have been less inclined to resort to the violence and destruction witnessed as recently as November.

Links to terrorism

At the conclusion of their meeting on Saturday, the G7 issued a communique in which they credited international cooperation for helping to combat funding for terrorist groups.

In a separate statement, US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said, "the unity with which the international community has tackled that goal in the intervening months in heartening."

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown
Brown: The UK is determined to play its part
To date, about $100m (70m) has been seized by law-enforcement authorities the world over, affecting about 200 people or organisations US officials say have links to terrorism.

On Saturday, the G7 agreed to jointly designate a list of terrorists and freeze assets in member countries to assist in the fight against terrorist financing.

"Because terrorists intended to bring the world's financial system to a halt," said UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, "we must continue to show that we will not succumb or surrender to their threats."

See also:

20 Apr 02 | Business
World Bank issues poverty warning
20 Apr 02 | Americas
Thousands rally at Washington summit
19 Apr 02 | Business
World Bank calls for more trade
18 Apr 02 | Business
IMF chief upbeat on economic growth
14 Jan 02 | Business
IMF chief calls for open markets
07 Oct 01 | Americas
US 'success' in terror funds search
18 Nov 01 | Business
US seeks fast action on terror funds
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