UK’s Brown calls for more global stimulus measures

LONDON - Global policymakers must agree to take more action to support the flagging world economy and fix its financial system when they meet at the G20 London summit in April, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Wednesday.



By (Reuters)

Published: Wed 18 Feb 2009, 10:19 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:55 AM

Brown will host the G20 summit on Apr. 2 where U.S. President Barack Obama and leaders from developed and developing nations such as China and India are getting together to discuss how to tackle the global economic downturn.

Several of the world’s biggest economies are shrinking fast due to the worst financial crisis in living memory, despite large cuts in interest rates and big fiscal stimulus measures.

“We’ve got to persuade the rest of Europe, America and the rest of the world to take similar action to us,” Brown said at his monthly news conference.

“If we can get that action in place ... then recovery will be quicker. That’s why we’re putting a lot of emphasis on our meeting on April 2.”

Brown, who argues the success of Britain’s own efforts to boost its economy depends on measures implemented elsewhere, said it was essential that countries worked together because the problems they were facing were global.

“Some may have to do more on interest rates, some may have to do more on fiscal stimulus,” he said. “The whole point of the G20 is that the whole world must take action to deal with a global problem.”

Brown’s Labour government sets out its annual budget on Apr. 22 and may also be hoping for a nod of approval from the global community before unleashing another fiscal stimulus on top of last year’s 20 billion pound ($28.38 billion) package.

Plan for recovery

The London summit follows on from a meeting in Washington in November where the G20 pledged to take action to help their economies, conclude stalled trade talks, reform international financial institutions and clean up the financial system.

However, little progress has been made on trade and there have been concerns that countries will respond to the downturn with protectionist measures, which many say will hamper the global recovery.

Earlier, Britain published a policy document entitled “The plan for recovery” in preparation for the G20, calling for a coordinated response and a strengthening of the commitment made in Washington to avoid trade protectionism.

“The world’s leading economies can come together to agree a package of international coordinated measures to restore stability and set a course for sustainable recovery,” the document said.

“The world’s leading economies can come together and lay the foundations not just for a sustainable economic recovery, but also form a genuinely new era of international economic partnership.”

Brown has been talking to global policymakers to build a consensus ahead of the summit. He said he would travel to Rome on Thursday and then Berlin at the weekend to meet European leaders.

“We are fashioning for the future a global deal, a grand bargain, where each continent accepts its responsibilities and its obligations to act to deal with what is a global problem that can only be solved with a global solution,” he said.


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