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Pressure builds on G8 to embrace emerging economies
Cat : International Conferences
Date : 2006-07-12 12:59:12                      Reader : 250
in a way to encourage their products and allow smooth flow of laborers. Other wise WTO will have no future at all , as rich will be more richer, and poor to become more poorer.

 

Associated France Press (AFP) 12/7/2006

Pressure builds on G8 to embrace emerging economies

 

by Yacine Le Forestier

PARIS (AFP) - As G8 leaders prepare to meet at their annual summit this weekend, one question being asked is whether their exclusive club should become the G11 by integrating Brazil, China and India.

There is no doubt that they are powerful and emerging economies which are increasingly important on the world stage, to the extent of eclipsing some of the current Group of Eight members.

"When we were deciding on who would be invited to participate in the summit, the Russian president’s position was that it was pointless to discuss energy security without India and China," said Igor Shuvalov, a top aide to President Vladimir Putin, ahead of the Saint Petersburg meeting.

"They exercise a great influence on price growth, are leading consumers of energy resources, and have developing economies," Shuvalov explained.

As a result, the presidents of China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico are to meet three times on July 17 with G8 leaders, essentially to discuss energy supply, distribution and conservation issues which Moscow set as the summit priority.

Another reason Shuvalov gave for their presence was that "these countries are ready to develop nuclear power on their territories, which is a priority for the Russian presidency of the Group of Eight."

Russian leaders are not alone in pushing for greater participation by emerging countries.

Tim Adams, the US treasury’s under secretary for international affairs, said last year that he felt G8 members should set some developing states on the path to full-time participation in the group’s deliberations.

He made the remark at a meeting of the International Monetary Fund, which also seeks to give developing countries a greater voice.

Since then-French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing and German chancellor Helmut Schmidt founded the Group of Five in 1975, the body has often been depicted as a global government of rich countries closed to outsiders.

The original members of Britain, France, Germany, Japan and the United States admitted Italy and Canada before adding Russia more or less full time in 1997 following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Moscow is nonetheless still excluded from thorny discussions on foreign exchange and interest rates.

Although the group’s focus was initially on economic matters, it now reviews a broad range of issues at an annual three-day summit hosted in turn by each of its members.

"The G8 will have to open itself to new members" at some point, said John Kirton, a professor who tracks the group’s work from Trinity College at the University of Toronto.

Last year, China overtook Britain and France as the world’s fourth biggest economy, and India is posting comparable growth with its population of more than one billion.

Leaving such giants out of global discussions is out of the question.

"The most obvious candidate (for inclusion) is India," Kirton told AFP.

"Its a huge democracy. Despite ethnic, religious tensions and poverty, it has proven its democratic credentials. It would give the G8 a greater voice from Asia where more power is growing."

He predicted that "it’s only a matter of time for them to get in."

China was a different matter, however.

Though it has emerged as an economic powerhouse, the development of Chinese democracy has not kept pace, and the G8 prides itself on its democratic credentials, even though it has drawn criticism for including Russia.

"It will take much longer for China to credibly signal its willingness to join the democratic family," Kirton forecast.


 
 
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