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Last Updated: Friday, 21 April 2006, 07:23 GMT 08:23 UK
G7 aims to tackle high oil prices
Delegate shuffling papers at meeting
Policymakers will try to find common ground on key economic issues
Finance ministers and central bankers from the world's seven biggest industrialised nations are due to meet in Washington on Friday.

Top of the agenda at the G7 meeting will be the effect of record oil prices on global trade imbalances and interest rate levels, analysts said.

The G7 are gathering on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank spring meeting.

The IMF has called for more cooperation to ensure greater economic stability.

'Zero-sum gain'

"A disorderly unwinding of global imbalances would be very damaging and such an outcome becomes more likely as time passes and imbalances are left unaddressed," said Rodrigo Rato, the IMF's managing director.

"This is not a zero-sum game, but there is something to gain by all partners and the global economy if there is coordinated action," he continued.

The IMF is due to hold its first meeting on Friday morning, and the get together will continue behind closed doors over the weekend.

The G7, which is made up of the US, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Italy, is scheduled to meet Friday afternoon.

One of the main topics for discussion will be imbalances in the world economy such as the size of the US trade deficit, with particular reference to the surge in exports from China.

President George W Bush met with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday and urged him to allow the Chinese currency, the yuan to appreciate in value.

The US has accused China of keeping its currency artificially weak in order to boost exports, a key reason why the US trade deficit with China topped $202bn in 2005.

The US would like the IMF to play a more active part in this dispute by increasingly focusing on currency surveillance.

The IMF will also face calls to make the organisation more democratic and representative, including reform of its voting system and a more open method of selecting its head.

Oil scales fresh peak in London
20 Apr 06 |  Business
G7 economies 'on track' says OECD
06 Mar 06 |  Business
G7 urges progress on trade talks
03 Dec 05 |  Business
China 'to dwarf G7 states by 2050'
08 Aug 06 |  Business
OECD warns on eurozone rate rise
29 Nov 05 |  Business
US growth still solid, OECD says
28 Oct 05 |  Business

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