Leaders whose countries
account for over 75 percent of global economic activity are meeting Saturday at
Washington's National Building Museum. VOA's Barry Wood reports the five-hour
Group of 20 summit is likely to agree on an action plan to bolster a slowing
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said this is
the first time that key developing and advanced economies are meeting together
at the world leader level. The Washington summit, she said, will adopt an action
plan that demonstrates the international community's capacity to overcome a
British Prime Minister Gordon
Brown said the one-day meeting is making progress on financial market regulation
and reforming the International Monetary Fund. As he entered the morning session
of the meeting, U.S. President Bush said much work remains to be
"This crisis has not ended,"
he said. "There is some progress being made, but there is still a lot more work
to be done. We had a good frank discussion over dinner last night and I look
forward to the discussions today."
Analysts say this emergency
summit marks a shift away from decades of dominance by North America, Europe and
Japan in global economic decision-making. The Washington gathering includes the
world's fastest growing economies - China and India, as well as South Africa,
Saudi Arabia, three Latin American countries, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey.
The so-called Group of 20 has existed for a decade at the finance and trade
Eswar Prasad, economics
professor at Cornell University, says the meeting elevates the stature of
"Having these leaders stand
together, I think, does convey a very powerful symbol that these leaders are
ready to do something and throw what they can at the problem," said
This emergency meeting was
held at the urging of the French and British leaders. Some analysts say its
importance is minimized by the absence of incoming U.S. President Barack Obama,
who doesn't take office until late January. G-20 leaders say a followup session
is likely to be held in the next five months.
The meeting is principally concerned with averting a deepening
global slowdown through tax cuts and increased government spending to spur
flagging consumer spending. No consensus is expected in Washington on the need
for regulatory reforms as well as changes in the voting structure of the
International Monetary Fund and World Bank.