Hu Jintao Addresses the G20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy in Washington
On November 15, 2008, the G20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy was held in Washington D.C., the United States. Chinese President Hu Jintao attended the meeting and delivered an important speech.
Convened in the National Building Museum of the US, the summit was held in two stages with the following major topics: assessing the progress of the international community of coping with the financial crisis, discussing the root causes of the financial crisis, exploring measures to promote global economic development, strengthening international financial regulatory rules and promoting reform of the international financial system.
At about 8:00 local time, President Hu Jintao and leaders of other countries arrived at the National Building Museum and were received by US President Bush. The leaders took group photos before the meeting started at 9:20. President Bush hosted the summit and leaders delivered speeches on the related topics.
Hu made an important speech entitled Making Joint Efforts to Tide over Difficulties. The international financial crisis has spread from parts of the world to the entire globe, from the developed countries to the emerging markets, and from the financial sector to the real economy, which has exerted a big impact on the economic development and people’s life worldwide, he pointed out. It is very significant for us to gather here to discuss measures on maintaining the international financial stability and promoting world economic growth at this critical moment, said he. There are many reasons behind the financial crisis, including both improper macroeconomic policies and insufficient financial regulation. Without correct understanding of those reasons, we will hardly be able to draw lessons from it and avoid similar crisis in the future. To effectively cope with the financial crisis, countries in the world should enhance confidence, increase coordination and intensify cooperation.
The top priority of the international community is to take all the necessary measures to restore market confidence as soon as possible and curb the spread of the financial crisis. The major developed economies should undertake their due responsibilities and obligations, implement macroeconomic policies that are conducive to the economic and financial stability and growth both at home and internationally, take active steps to stabilize their own and the international financial markets and safeguard investors' interests. Meanwhile, they should enhance macroeconomic policy coordination, expand economic and financial information sharing, and deepen cooperation in international financial regulation so as to create necessary conditions for stability in both the domestic and international financial markets.
To maintain economic growth is the cornerstone of addressing the financial crisis. Countries should readjust their macroeconomic policies, take necessary financial and monetary measures to actively promote economic development and avoid a global economic recession. Joint efforts should be made to stabilize the international energy and food markets, curb speculation and build an enabling environment for the growth of the world economy. The international community should pay special attention to preventing various forms of trade and investment protectionism and pushing for early progress of the Doha round of negotiations.
The international community should earnestly draw lessons from the financial crisis and make necessary reform of the international financial system based on full consultations among all stakeholders. Reform of the international financial system should aim at establishing a new international financial order that is fair, just, inclusive and orderly and fostering an institutional environment conducive to sound global economic development. The reform should be conducted in a comprehensive, balanced, incremental and pragmatic manner. A comprehensive reform needs a general design which should not only focus on improving the international financial system, monetary system and financial institutions and international financial rules and procedures but also take into account the development stages and characteristics of different economies. A balanced reform is based on overall consideration, seeks a balance among the interests of all parties and builds a decision-making and management mechanism with wider and more effective participation. An incremental reform is one that seeks gradual progress and should proceed in a phased manner, starting with the easier issues, and achieve the final objectives of reform through sustained efforts under the precondition of maintaining stability of the international financial market. A pragmatic reform is one that stresses practical results. All reform measures should contribute to the international financial stability, the global economic growth and the welfare of people in all countries.
Based on those considerations, China proposes implementing the following reform measures: stepping up international cooperation in financial regulation and improving the international regulatory system; advancing reform of the international financial organizations and increasing the representativeness and say of the developing countries in such organizations; encouraging regional financial cooperation and making best use of the regional fund assistance mechanisms; improving the international currency system and steadily promoting the diversity of the international monetary system.
As economic globalization moves ahead, the economic and financial ties among countries grow tight. The ongoing financial crisis not only seriously influences the developed countries but also exerts impact on the developing ones. And such an impact is going to continue to expand. When coping with the financial crisis, the international community should pay particular attention to the damage of the crisis on developing countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs) and do all it can to minimize the damage. It is necessary to help developing countries maintain financial stability and economic growth, sustain and increase assistance to them and help them keep economic and financial stability.
China has also felt the impact of the international financial crisis. It has made timely adjustment to its policies and strengthened macroeconomic regulation in response to the crisis. China has maintained the stable and relatively fast economic growth and the basic momentum of economic development. The steady and relatively fast growth of China is in itself an important contribution to international financial stability and world economic growth. The Chinese government will continue to adopt effective measures to make its macro control more predictable, targeted and effective, expand domestic demand, especially consumption demand, change the economic development mode, readjust the economic structure, strengthen the fundamental position of agriculture, increase income of farmers, deepen reform, open wider to the outside world, keep stable and relatively fast economic growth so as to play a constructive role of promoting the steady development of the world economy.
As a responsible member of the international community, China will continue to take an active part in the international cooperation to keep international financial stability and promote world economic growth, support international financial organizations in increasing financing capacity in response to the changes in the international financial market and extend greater support for the developing countries influenced by the crisis. We are willing to actively participate in the trade financing plan of the World Bank International Finance Corporation.
Hu concluded that stability of the international financial markets and sustained development of the global economy are crucial to the well being of all countries and people. Let us tide over the difficulties through concerted efforts and play our own part to maintaining international financial stability and promoting global economic growth, said he.
In his opening remarks, President Bush said that it is good for the G20 leaders to gather together and discuss how to cope with the financial crisis and ensure similar crisis will not happen again in the future. Faced with the risks of trade protectionism, leaders at the meeting reiterated the principles of open market and free trade. Certain progress of handling the crisis has been achieved, but it has not ended yet and more needs to be done.
Other leaders also elaborated their opinions and suggestions on the root causes of the financial crisis and how to promote the global economic development, strengthen international financial regulation and push forward the reform of the international financial system.
The declaration issued at the summit pointed out that the G20 leaders are determined to intensify cooperation to restore the global economy and make necessary reform of the world financial system in face of severe challenges of the world economy and financial market. The leaders agreed that the market principle, open trade and investment system and effectively regulated financial markets will generate vigor, change and entrepreneurship, which are the fundamental factors of ensuring economic development, employment and poverty alleviation. By maintaining the partnership and adhering to cooperation and multilateralism, they will be able to overcome difficulties and restore economic stability and prosperity in the world.
The G20 leaders and officials of related international organizations attended the summit.
Chinese Vice Premier of the State Council Wang Qishan was also present at the meeting.