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From Okinawa 2000 to Genoa 2001

Issue Performance Assessment

Overall Grade: B

As predicted in our June Microeconomic study, the Genoa Summit did not see anything of note raised with respect to microeconomics. Part of the reason for this is that apart from Japan, the remaining democratic market economies of the G8 do not exhibit heavy pressure to implement change in domestic markets, including the markets for labour, capital, goods and services. While not discussed in any of the official documentation issued at the Summit, all of the leaders expressed their support for the Japanese economic reforms.

The Leader's Communique barely touches on microeconomic issues, concentrating more on social policy issues and macroeconomic concerns, which were seen to be more pressing issues on the international agenda.

Under the sub-heading of "Increasing Prosperity in a Socially-Inclusive Society", and noting that economic performance and social inclusion are mutually dependent, the Communique simply states that the leaders "commit to implement policies in line with the recommendations of the G8 Labour Ministers Conference" held in November, 2000.

While not specifically discussed in the context of microeconomics, statements regarding health and education as they relate to development initiatives may necessarily impact on microeconomic policies within individual countries.. Specifically, the Communique states that "strong national health systems will continue to play a key role in the delivery of effective prevention, treatment and care and in improving access to essential health services and commodities without discrimination" (paragraph 17) "education is a central building block for growth and employment" (paragrpah 18). In order to create strong national health systems and ensure that education is indeed a central building block for growth and employment, it is likely that each of the G8 countries will have to initiate or continue significant structural reform within their social systems. As discussed in the Communique, this will likely require society-wide action beyond the health and education sectors and encompass the interrelatedness of social and economic goals being reflected in the design of coherent employment and social policies.

Overall, not much was expected from the leaders in the area of microeconomics at the Genova Summit, however, they have managed to commit development initiatives that will impact individual government's microeconomic polices.

Prepared by: Allison Smith of the G8 Research Group.

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