July - December 2010

Leaders face 'ambitious path' at G20 in Seoul
19 September 2010 - International Business Times
In anticipation of the G20's November meeting in Seoul, leaders from the world's top twenty economic powers will continue to monitor one another's progress on their mutual priority of strengthening a fragile global economic recovery. A "more ambitious path," envisioned by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, would ensure that medium-term results would include an increase in global economic output by almost $4 trillion, the creation of tens of millions more jobs, an expansion of the middle class (with more people being lifted from poverty), and a significant reduction in global imbalances. At the G20 Summit in Toronto this past June, member nations concluded "that we can do much better" by looking at economic achievements through a "Mutual Assessment Process," established by the body at their September 2009 meeting. The International Monetary fund currently forecasts global economic growth at 4.6% in 2010 and 4.3% in 2011 with advanced economies, such as the United States, the Eurozone, Japan, and the United Kingdom expected to grow at a slower rate than developing economies.
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An Assessment of G8's Promise to Africa
8 July 2010 - BBC World News
In July 2005, leaders at the Gleneagles G8 summit promised $50 billion for the world’s poor by 2010. They agreed that half of the funding ($25 billion) would go to Africa, and they agreed to cancel $40 billion of debt owed by 18 of the poorest countries in the world. The money promised has fallen short as 44% of their commitments has been delivered to this date. However overall assistance accounts for a large increase in funding from the G8 to Africa. There have been dramatic increases in HIV/AIDS treatment, malaria deaths have halved, and hospital capabilities have improved. Additionally education and access to secondary school has increased. 
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G20 Nations Reach Compromise on Economic Goal
28 June 2010 - The Los Angeles Times - Christi Parsons
Leaders of the world’s biggest economies agreed to halve the budget deficits of most industrialized nations by 2013. Much of the discussions focused on whether leaders should stay the course they set last year when they agreed to stimulate the economy through government investment. The final communiqué stated that they must follow through on delivering existing stimulus plans, while working to create the conditions for a more successful private demand. The communiqué offered each country flexibility, and did not mandate specific targets for each nation due to differing national circumstances. At the end of the conference, President Obama stated that fiscal health in the future depended on the ability to create jobs and growth in the present. 
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G20 Drops China-Sensitive Plaudits on Yuan Reform
27 June 2010 - Reuters - Brian Love, David Storey
Following months of international statements and discussion concerning the fixed Chinese yuan, and last week’s commitment to flexibility from Beijing, the G20 Summit produced no tangible response to the currency debate. Many of the participating leaders, including President Obama, individually praised Beijing’s recent pledge to float its currency in order to correct trade and exchange imbalances.  In fact, there was a brief statement in the G20 Communiqué acknowledging this shift in policy, but was removed due to requests from Chinese officials. Obama further stated, however, that the yuan would have to continue to float towards the true exchange rate.  While the US and others called for continued flexibility, Chinese officials accepted that exchange rates should be discussed in the international economic forum, but stated that such policies were to be ultimately decided by the Chinese government.  Following the G20, then, a solution to this international debate still seems out of reach.  The traditional economic powers continue to call for yuan flexibility to help balance unfair trade disparities, and Beijing remains committed to Chinese sovereignty over its currency and economic policies.

David Cameron and Barack Obama to Discuss Economy, BP, Ahead of G20
24 June 2010 - The Telegraph - Andrew Porter
Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama will hold bilateral talks on Saturday ahead of the G8 Summit in Muskoka, Canada. The Prime Minister has been criticized for failing to back up British Petroleum in the wake of the Gulf Oil spill. Mr. Cameron has stated that it is vital for both Britain and the US that the company remains strong and stable. The Prime Minister said he understands that BP must pay for the cleanup, and compensate fisherman and others who have lost their livelihoods, but that it must be done in a way that will continue to benefit the US and UK. The two leaders will also discuss the way each administration is deciding to approach the issue of economic recovery. 
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International Security Concerns Top Agenda at G8 Summit
24 June 2010 - Deutsche Welle
G8 leaders will meet in Muskoka on Friday to discuss pressing security issues such as nuclear non-proliferation, vulnerable states, and international terrorism. Nuclear non-proliferation is likely to top the G8 agenda with the on-going Iran crisis the most prominent topic within that discussion. It is expected that they will condemn the barring of two IAEA officials from Iran this week, as well as the new ‘research’ reactor Iran plans to activate. The G8 is expected to concentrate its efforts to stop money-laundering by terrorists organizations and promote deeper international cooperation on investigations intended to prevent nuclear technology and material from circulating through criminal networks. The G8 will also discuss North Korea and their recent aggressive activities, potentially creating a struggle between the United States and European countries in finding a unified approach in dealing with rogue nations. 
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Chinese Yuan Under Scrutiny Before G20 Meeting
20 June 2010 - Reuters - Pedro Nicolaci da Costa
The Chinese currency, the yuan or RMB, has been a hot topic among international finance and political leaders leading up to this week’s G8 and G20 meetings in Canada.  Many such leaders, including US politicians such as Senator Charles Schumer, have claimed that the artificially low yaun affords Chinese goods an unfair advantage in the global market.  Some have called for declaring China a “currency manipulator”; a title that would bring with it tough tariff actions coercing Beijing to free up its exchange rate.  Last week, for the first time in 23 months, Chinese leaders announced that the yuan exchange rate would become more flexible.  Such action, however, has been minimal and their intentions seem surely to be to appease the international community rather than allow true, fair flexibility.  The extent to which the statement has appeased such leaders will be understood once the summits occur this weekend. (Read More)


Obama Tells G20 to Strengthen Economic Recovery
18 June 2010 - Bloomberg Businessweek - Simon Kennedy and Roger Runningen
Ahead of the Summits in Canada U.S. President Barack Obama urged the Group of 20 nations to “safeguard and strengthen” the global economic recovery with continued stimulus. Obama’s focus on policy support to keep economic growth strong is at odds with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s preference for spending cutbacks. Obama said he is concerned by “significant weaknesses” among G20 economies, which account for 85 percent of global GDP. In criticizing China, Obama called market determined exchange rates “essential to global economic vitality.” Chinese officials said they plan to use the G20 summit as a forum to discuss Europe’s sovereign debt turmoil while keeping the yuan’s exchange rate out of the talks. 
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G20 Meeting Has to Balance Debt With Economic Recovery
16 June 2010 - The Montreal Gazette - Mark Kennedy
The key issue that will dominate next week’s gathering in Canada of G20 leaders will be how nations find the right balance in reducing their debt without threatening economic recovery, as the heads of state from the Group of 20 Nations will be tasked with ensuring that economic recovery is solidified. In addition, the G8 summit, with its longer tradition of meetings and small group of world leaders will focus on issues related to the developing world, and issues of peace and security. Prime Minister Stephen Harper plans to discuss his initiative on maternal and child health in the developing world. 
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A Role in Global Security Could Keep the G8 Relevant
15 June 2010 - The Globe and Mail - Kevin Carmichael
Bill Graham, Canada’s former foreign affairs and defense minister, spoke on 15 June about the G8’s relevance in the future. He believes the G8’s significance has diminished in recent years, but that it can be revived by taking a larger role in global security issues. Graham stated that the G8 members should collectively have a larger role in Afghanistan and Pakistan either through direct military intervention, or through foreign aid donation. He believes that the G8 as a whole is better equipped to handle the Afghanistan situation than does the G20 because the G20 has little to offer, little interest, and no ability to build understanding between the conflicting interests of the U.S. and Russia in that region. 
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