Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 27th 2016 Contents A17
Saturday, February 27, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
SHANGHAI---Officials at a global finance
meeting yesterday urged governments
to speed up promised job-creating
reforms instead of relying on stimulus
to perk up slackening growth.
The clouded global outlook has upped
pressure for reassurances and action from
the finance ministers and central bankers
gathered in Shanghai for a meeting of the
Group of 20 major rich and emerging
economies. But the leaders have sought
to squelch expectations the meeting will
produce specific growth plans.
Christine Lagarde, the managing director
of the International Monetary Fund, said
governments should act faster on reforms
promised at a G-20 meeting in 2014. That
list included some 800 commitments
meant to simplify regulations and boost
trade, investment and technology devel-
opment, but many have yet to be carried
"Policymakers do not need to invent
yet another trick, but they need to deliver
steadily on the commitments they have
made," Lagarde said at an event organized
by the Washington-based Institute of
International Finance alongside the Shang-
Referring to monetary and fiscal policy
and structural reforms, Lagarde said,
"There has to be action on all fronts."
Others at the meeting include US Treas-
ury Secretary Jacob Lew and Federal
Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen; China s
finance minister, Lou Jiwei, and central
bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan; Mario
Draghi of the European Central Bank and
their counterparts from Europe, South
Korea, India and South Africa.
Global growth is at its lowest in two
years and forecasters say the danger of
recession is rising. The IMF cut this year s
global growth forecast by 0.2 percentage
points last month to 3.4 per cent. It said
another downgrade is likely in April.
Central banks still have room to use
interest rate cuts and other stimulus but
need governments to follow through with
promised economic changes, said Mark
Carney, head of the Bank of England.
"Global growth has disappointed
because the innovation and ambition of
global monetary policy has not been
matched by structural measures," Carney
said at the IIF event. "In most advanced
G20 finance VIPs urge action on reforms
Participants from left to right, moderator Yingyi Qian, Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei,
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, International Monetary Fund (IMF) First
Deputy Director David Lipton, World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati and
Breugel director Guntram Wolff compose a panel during a session of the G20 High-Level
Seminar on Structural Reform, ahead of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank
Governors Meeting at the Pudong Shangri-la Hotel in Shanghai, China. AP PHOTO
LONDON---Treasury chief George Osborne says
Britain will undergo a "profound economic
shock" should voters decide to leave the Euro-
Osborne, who is in China for a meeting of the
Group of 20 leading economies, told the BBC
that the recent weakness of the pound "reminds
us all that this is not some political parlour game."
The pound has hit seven-year lows as jittery
investors react to uncertainty about the June 23
referendum on whether to remain in the 28-
Osborne says that "leaving the EU would rep-
resent a profound economic shock for our country,
for all of us."
The warning comes amid a report in the Finan-
cial Times that Osborne would urge other leaders
attending the meeting in Shanghai to warn against
a so-called British exit or Brexit. (AP)
UK Treasury chief
issues stark warning
against EU exit
economies, difficult structural reforms have been
Germany s finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble,
said fiscal stimulus has "reached its limit" and his
government will not agree to more co-ordinated
spending in the event of further deterioration in
the global economy. He urged other countries to
deliver on reforms instead.
"We are not lacking in policy proposals," he said.
"We are lacking in policy implementation."
Lew said Washington wants G-20 governments
to reaffirm pledges to avoid weakening their cur-
rencies to boost exports.
"It doesn t lead anywhere good," he told reporters.
"I hope we can get a commitment to avoid that."
A key concern in global financial markets, despite
repeated Chinese denials, is that Beijing might
weaken its yuan to support struggling exporters.
That expectation has driven an outflow of capital
from China that spiked to a record US$135 billion
Following complaints China fueled volatility in
global markets by failing to explain policy changes,
Lew appealed for clarity from Beijing.
"The exchange rate policy is one in particular
that needs to be clearly communicated," he said.
The Chinese hosts hoped to use the meeting to
promote their campaign for a bigger voice in man-
aging global trade and finance. Instead, the com-
munist government is scrambling to defend its
reputation for economic competence following
stock market and currency turmoil.
Earlier yesterday, China s central bank chief
promised to avoid weakening the yuan as he tried
to reassure nervous financial markets about his
government s handling of its economy and cur-
"We will not resort to competitive depreciation
to boost our advantage in exports," said Zhou
Xiaochuan, governor of the People s Bank of China,
at a news conference.
The foreign view of China s economic health
was shaken last year by a stock market collapse
that wiped out US$5 trillion in paper wealth. Its
main market index fell by an unusually large daily
margin of 6.4 per cent on Thursday but gained
one per cent on yesterday.
Speaking at a separate event earlier yesterday,
Zhou assured his audience the Chinese economy
is robust after last year s growth slowed to a 25-
year low of 7.3 per cent. He noted that it still was
among the world s strongest performances.
"China s economic fundamentals remain strong,"
he said. "The Chinese economy will continue to
grow at a moderate-to-high pace." (AP)
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