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G7 Finance Ministers Pledge Economic Growth Efforts - 2004-04-25


Finance ministers from the world's seven leading industrial nations have pledged to step up their efforts to speed world economic growth.

But the ministers warned that rising oil prices could limit growth. The finance ministers and central bankers from the G 7 countries issued their statement after two days of talks in Washington.

They said the world's economic "prospects are favorable." But the officials -- from Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States -- said risks remain, citing oil prices and violence in the Middle East.

Russia's Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, who attended part of the meeting, said (Saturday) his country has no intention of following the OPEC cartel's in cutting oil output.

The G 7 ministers met in Washington in conjunction with the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Delegates from 184 nations are hearing predictions of surging global economic growth.

Canada's Finance Minister Paul Goodale said there is concern about the potentially destabilizing global impact of the large U.S. budget deficit. But he said he is encouraged by assurances from U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow that the U.S. deficit will come down.

An expected large protest at the IMF and World Bank meeting never materialized. A few hundred anti-globalization protesters marched near the meeting site.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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