Journal Issue

Group of Seven communiqué: Progress on Doha Round imperative for faster growth, reduced poverty

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
May 2004
  • ShareShare
Show Summary Details

Following is the text of the communiqué issued by the Group of Seven following its meeting in Washington, D.C., on April 24.

The global economic recovery has continued to strengthen and broaden since we met in February. Prospects are favorable, and although risks remain, such as energy prices, overall the balance of risks to the outlook has improved. Additional pro-growth reforms are essential to deliver stronger and more balanced global growth, boost employment, and raise incomes. As part of the Agenda for Growth, we discussed our priorities for tax and labor market reforms. We reaffirmed our commitment to sound public finances and monitored implementation of strategies for sustained medium-term fiscal consolidation as economies recover. Progress in these fiscal areas and in the Agenda for Growth are key to addressing the current global imbalances. To deliver faster and more widespread global growth and to fight global poverty, rapid progress on, and early conclusion of, the Doha Round is imperative and will require action by all parties to resolve key outstanding issues.

We reaffirm that exchange rates should reflect economic fundamentals. Excess volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates are undesirable for economic growth. We continue to monitor exchange markets closely and cooperate as appropriate. In this context, we emphasize that more flexibility in exchange rates is desirable for major countries or economic areas that lack such flexibility to promote smooth and widespread adjustments in the international financial system, based on market mechanisms.

Economic fundamentals have improved in many emerging market countries. Yet sustained and sound policies are essential to support lasting growth and reduce external vulnerabilities. In the case of Argentina, progress has been made, but further progress is required.

In developing countries, the private sector is key to growth and poverty reduction. Small businesses play a critical role, but unfavorable business climates are often a constraint. We call on the multilateral development banks (MDBs) to accelerate the development of joint action plans with governments to improve investment climates and scale up their support for small businesses with specific measurable results. The Group of Seven met entrepreneurs from developing countries and reiterated support for their efforts. We urge private sector views to be consistently included in MDB assistance plans. On remittances, we will continue to work on our initiatives to reduce barriers that raise the cost of sending them and to integrate remittance services in the formal financial sector. We are committed to working with governments, the private sector, and the MDBs to broaden access for families and entrepreneurs to financial services.

Official development assistance, including more effective use of grants, will remain key. We reaffirm our commitment to fight global poverty and to help countries achieve the international development goals of the Millennium Declaration through our work on debt sustainability, aid effectiveness, absorption capacity, and financing facilities.

As part of the preparation for the Sea Island Summit [in Georgia, United States, on June 8-10] and to mark the 60th anniversary of the Bretton Woods institutions, we continued our strategic review of these institutions. Our focus is on giving clarity to official sector policy and objectives, and increasing accountability and country ownership. We are committed to improving the delivery and results of their programs and policies.

We met again with ministers from key countries to strengthen the fight against terrorist financing. We call on all countries to meet their commitments to tighten asset freezing regimes, prevent abuse of nonprofit organizations, and stop cash transfers used to finance terror. We strongly welcomed the IMF-World Bank commitment to comprehensive assessments. We reaffirmed our commitment to further enhance transparency and supervisory standards in financial markets, in particular, noncompliant offshore centers.

Economic growth and job creation in the greater Middle East are a shared priority. We will meet with regional ministers this evening to discuss their reform efforts and regional economic integration, including through financial reform and private sector growth. We stand ready to assist Iraq, Afghanistan, and West Bank and Gaza in their development efforts. We reviewed progress on the Afghanistan Action Plan, including the positive results of the Berlin conference. We call on others to join us in reducing the debt burdens of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Other Resources Citing This Publication