22 June, 2002
University of Calgary, Calgary
Hosted by the University of Calgary, the Guido Carli Association, the G8
Research Group and the Research Group on Global Financial Governance
with the support of the G8 Summit Policy Office of Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
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Sustaining global growth is a critical challenge for the G8 leaders at Kananaskis. It is a prerequisite for producing widely shared prosperity within G8 countries, but also for enhancing security against terrorism and fuelling genuine development in the global community as a whole.
The G8 currently confronts several core economic challenges. Although its members, led by Canada and the United States, are now coming out of the worst simultaneous slowdown in a quarter century, the G8 and the global economy face a series of acute risks - stagnation in Japan, slow growth in Europe, high consumer and corporate debt in North America, the U.S. current account deficit, uncertain world oil prices, and financial collapse in Argentina. Moreover, if the current growth is to prove sustainable, and recapture the permanent productivity increases promised by the information technology revolution of the 1990s, current fiscal and monetary stimulus will need to be converted into smart investments and sustained by structural reforms that build a genuine "new economy" for the twenty-first century. Such domestic changes will need to be reinforced by a new generation of deep reforms to the international financial system. These reforms should anticipate and prevent financial crises, install the proper incentives for sound market behaviour, mobilize the expertise and resources of the private sector in this process, ensure high standards of transparency and corporate governance, build ecological and social capital, and give rising economic powers and the values of a rapidly globalizing world their proper place. Restoring permanent prosperity in the wake of the shock and slowdown of September 11th is also vital to the conduct of the ongoing war against terrorism. It is required to show that the confidence of citizens and corporations has not been destroyed and to produce the tax revenues required to finance a long campaign. Yet "smart spending" is also needed to ward off the now returning inflation that presents painful choices between security and civilian spending. It can fuel a new generation of technologies to help combat terrorism more efficiently. It can also ensure security while keeping financial systems and borders open in the ways now required by globalized firms, their customers, workers, families, and communities. Reciprocally, wise security investments can foster the innovation that will enhance the productivity of the civilian economy for decades to come.
Producing sustainable growth is equally essential to reducing poverty in Africa and the developing world as a whole. Sustained prosperity make it easier for G7 governments and the international institutions they lead to provide the required increases in effective official development assistance, debt relief, market access, streamlined conditionality, and appropriate financial support at times of crisis. It will also, much as the earlier Marshall Plan in Europe, encourage the private sector to undertake the investments required as the leading instrument of the New Partnership for African Development. To explore how the G8 leaders and their associated institutions have, can, and should confront these complex challenges, the University of Calgary, the G8 Research Group, the Guido Carli Association, and the Research Group on Global Financial Governance are mounting a conference on "Sustaining Global Growth: Prosperity, Security, and Development Challenges for the Kananaskis G8." Taking place at the University of Calgary on Saturday, June 22, this conference assembles, both onsite and through videoconference, experts from the three G8 regions of North America, Europe, and Asia, and the global community as a whole, for a detailed discussion of the G8's past performance, current prospects, and future potential in producing prosperity in ways that are sustainable, enhance security, and benefit all. Each of the conference panel sessions features presentation with leading practitioners and senior scholarly experts. The four panel sessions proceed in turn, leading off with paper presentations from North America, then Europe, followed by Japan and ending with the developing world beyond the G7. Citizens throughout the G8 and global community will be able to participate through the conference webcast and have the opportunity to pose questions to the experts themselves.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Guido Carli Association, the Government of Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the University of Canada, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada through the EnviReform project on "Strengthening Canada's Environmental Community through International Regime Reform."
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