G20 summit will not halt economic downturn

March 22, 2009
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, LONDON, Mar 22 – British Foreign Office Minister Lord Mark Malloch Brown on Sunday played down hopes for next month\’s G20 London summit on the credit crunch, saying the downturn "is not going to stop on April 2".

Malloch Brown added that the summit "may not be the moment" when countries announce a fresh stimulus package.

In the run-up to the meeting of world leaders, there have been disagreements between the United States, which wants such a move, and European countries like France and Germany, which are opposed to it.

"We are in the midst of a dramatic destruction of global wealth which is not going to stop on April 2," Malloch Brown told BBC television. "The downward momentum is going to take us way beyond that."

He was also asked whether there would be an announcement on an additional, coordinated financial boost at the summit.

"A lot has been done, a lot is underway, April 2 may not be the moment where countries think it\’s right to add more to the global (amount)," he said.

"There\’s going to be an announcement of global money but it\’s not necessarily around the major economies\’ national boost because we\’re kind of in mid-course on that".

This was an apparent reference to an agreement at a G20 finance ministers\’ meeting earlier this month to boost International Monetary Fund resources "very substantially".

Malloch Brown said that in the wake of that meeting, the nations involved were close to reaching agreement on a course of future action.

"Where we are… is probably 75, 80 percent of the way there but this last 10 days is very critical," he said.

"(There is) a last flurry of effort to get this from good to, we hope, excellent in terms of an outcome… it\’s hard but not impossible."

The G20 summit unites leaders from major developed and emerging economies including the United States, Japan, China, rich European nations, Mexico, South Korea and Saudi Arabia

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