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G-7 meeting: Ministers see light at end of global downturn, set priorities to combat terrorist financing

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
January 2002
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Information about Western Hemisphere Hemisferio Occidental
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Global economy. The Ministers noted that, despite remaining risks, prospects had strengthened for resumed expansion in the major industrial economies. They committed themselves to remaining vigilant, to continuing to take appropriate steps to promote a strong and sustained recovery, and to cooperating in exchange markets as appropriate. Emerging market economies, they said, face mixed economic and financial market conditions and should continue to implement policies conducive to investment and economic growth. The Ministers welcomed the recent steps announced by the Argentine authorities and encouraged them to continue to work closely with the IMF and the international community on a program of financially and socially sustainable economic reforms that would improve their prospects for growth and investment.

Recent events, the Ministers said, have highlighted the importance of a predictable and fair framework, involving the private sector, to prevent and resolve international financial crises. They indicated their commitment to playing a lead role in improving this framework and, in this regard, welcomed the IMF management’s proposal on sovereign debt restructuring as a useful contribution that addresses some of the legal and practical obstacles to timely and orderly debt restructuring.

Since September 11, almost 150 countries and jurisdictions have issued orders to freeze terrorist assets, and over $100 million has been frozen worldwide.

Combating the financing of terrorism.The Group of Seven’s October 2001 Action Plan to Combat the Financing of Terrorism had set out clear priorities for the fight against terrorist financing: vigorous application of international sanctions, including freezing of terrorist assets; rapid development and implementation of international standards; increased information sharing among countries; and enhanced efforts by financial supervisors to guard against the abuse of the financial sector by terrorists.

More than 200 other countries and jurisdictions have now expressed their support for this international effort. Since September 11, almost 150 countries and jurisdictions have issued orders to freeze terrorist assets, and over $100 million has been frozen worldwide. The Ministers noted that, although significant results have been achieved, more needs to be done (see box below).

Fostering development. Acknowledging the difficult challenges that the world’s poorest countries face, the Ministers explored ways to extend the benefits of greater global economic integration to all countries. They will continue to work with other donors to ensure that additional resources for development are made available. Development assistance, they said, needs to be used more effectively and all countries must commit themselves to sound policies, good governance, and the rule of law. In advance of the UN conference on Financing for Development, the Ministers held productive discussions on development policy issues, including innovative ways to mobilize additional domestic and external resources, trade, and external debt.

Finally, the Ministers welcomed Russia’s strong growth and significant structural reforms and agreed on the importance of the country’s early accession to the World Trade Organization. They also encouraged the country to push forward with steps to strengthen the financial sector, improve corporate governance and the investment climate, and combat terrorist financing.

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