Brown sees global finance summit, trade deal near

BRUSSELS - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Wednesday he saw broad agreement to hold a summit of major economies this year to reform the global financial system and clear the way for a world trade deal.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Wed 15 Oct 2008, 8:10 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:19 PM

Brown, whose rescue plan for British banks has set a template for Europe and the United States, also said central and east European economies will need extra help from international lenders to cope with the credit crisis.

‘I believe a forum to decide on big changes in the international economy can be held in the next few months... There is now a general agreement there should be an international leaders' meeting,’ he told a news conference before a European Union summit.

He said he expected the Group of Eight industrialised nations -- the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Russia -- plus key emerging nations such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa to hold a summit on financial reform in November or December.

Asked whether the winner of next month's U.S. presidential election should attend, he said it was up to the United States to determine its own delegation.

As a first step to better cross-border supervision, Brown suggested that by the end of the year, 30 top multinational companies should be overseen by international colleges of supervisors instead of separate national regulators.

Britain had circulated a paper to its EU partners proposing ways to restore confidence in the financial system, he said.

The White House has said the timing and agenda of any international meeting on the economy remains to be determined.

Brown said he had discussed the urgency of overcoming deadlock in world trade talks in telephone calls with President George W. Bush and the leaders of Brazil, China and Australia in the last 48 hours.

‘As we rebuild our global financial institutions, we also ought to seize the opportunity of a trade deal,’ he said.

All nations should sign up to a message that protectionism is not the way forward, he said. ‘The message must go out that this begger-thy-neighbour approach of the past is of no use.’

Brown said the International Monetary Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank should help central and east European countries such as Hungary that have hit particular trouble.

He said he had advised Iceland, with which Britain has been in dispute over recovering British savers' deposits in failed Icelandic banks, to go to the IMF for help.

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