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"Recovery and New beginningsā€: Harper's G-20 Summit

Updated On: Jul 05, 2010

Leaders of the Group of Twenty (G-20) issued a communiqué that includes aggressive deficit-cutting targets and allows individual countries to devise their own approach to meeting those goals. The communiqué said “These (actions) will be differentiated and tailored to national circumstances.” The communiqué saw advanced economies making commitments to halve deficits by 2013.

The G20 saw the emerging Asian countries, China and India, come forward with a strong voice.  For China, the biggest obstacle to global economic recovery is Western countries shielding their producers from competition from emerging economies. "We must take concrete actions to reject all forms of protectionism and unequivocally advocate and support free trade," President Hu Jintao said.

Agreeing with the President’s statement, the Indian PM Manmohan Singh said “growth in developing countries would be greatly helped if threats of new protectionist measures in industrialized countries are firmly resisted and existing barriers to trade, especially those affecting developing countries, are reduced." He also added that India was well placed in handling the situation with an average growth of 7 per cent in the past two fiscals, and could halve its deficits by 2013-14.

The G20 summit held in Toronto, Canada and was the fourth meeting of the G-20 heads of government. The summit, which primarily discussed the global financial system and world economy, took place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre during June 26-27, 2010.

Besides the 20 Core G-20 members, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper,extended invitations to Ethiopia, Malawi,Nigeria, Vietnam,International Labour Organizations and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and development - being their first G-20 summit appearance.

The summit was a target of protests, which occurred in Downtown Toronto. The protests began one week ahead of the summit, and included protests against issues such as poverty, gay rights, capitalism and indigenous rights. As the summit approached, the protests turned ugly, with individuals damaging windows of particular businesses, mostly fast food chains, retail stores, banks etc. Over 900 people were arrested over the week.

Five of the six private talks President Obama held on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) Toronto Summit were with leaders from Asian nations, underscoring the significance of U.S. engagement in the region.

U.S. Had the Last Word, But China Was the Winner at G20 [IPS, 2 July 2010]
PM asks rich nations to resist protectionism [Times of India, 27 June 2010]