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The Prospective Agenda for the
2006 G8 Finance Ministers Meetings

Laura Sunderland
Senior Researcher, G8 Research Group
February 6, 2006

See also Prospective Agenda for G8 St Petersburg Summit
See also Prospective Agenda for G8 Foreign Ministers
See also Sherpa Meetings

G7 Finance Ministers Meeting I, Moscow, February 10-11, 2006
G7 Finance Ministers Meeting II, Washington: April 2006
G7 Finance Ministers Meeting III, St. Petersburg: June 2006
Notes
Earlier versions


This prospective agenda for the 2006 G8 Finance Ministers Meetings is compiled by the G8 Research Group from public sources as an aid to researchers and other stakeholders interested in the G8. It will be updated periodically as planning evolves and as more information becomes available about its intended and actual agenda.


G7 Finance Ministers Meeting I, Moscow, February 10-11, 2006

On February 3, South Africa announced that Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi will attend the Finance Ministers meeting in Moscow in place of Finance Minister Trevor Manuel.[1]

On February 2, 2006, former top Japanese financial diplomat Zenbe Mizoguchi stated that the G8 Finance Ministers are likely to discuss the Middle East at their meeting,[2] and how the political situation in the Middle East may impact the global economy.[3] Mizoguchi stated that the Finance Ministers will likely discuss the risk of inflation and how to prevent inflation.[4] Mizoguchi also stated that foreign exchange and currency rates will likely be discussed, but will not likely appear in the Finance Ministers' closing statement.[5]

On February 1, 2006, Japanese Vice Finance Minister for International Affairs, Hiroshi Watanabe, stated that foreign exchange may be touched on at the Finance Minsiters meeting, but will not be a major agenda item.[1] Watanabe stated that the major issue discussed will be crude oil and methods to bring petroleum prices down.[2]

On January 31, 2006, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin stated that energy security will be one of the main topics discussed at the G8 Finance Ministers meeting.[6] Kudrin also said that financial aid to poor countries, economic development, education, and infectious disease will feature prominently on the Finance Ministers' agenda.[7] Bird flu will be central to the infectious disease discussion.[8]

On January 31, 2006, Italian Finance Minister Guilio Tremonti will meet with Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko to discuss energy issues, particularly gas-supply. Italy is preparing an energy document, to be presented at the G8 Finance Ministers meeting. The contents of the document will be discussed on January 31.[9]

On January 27, 2006, two G8 officials announced that the G8 finance ministers will not engage in a formal discussion of foreign exchange relations during their February 10-11 meeting.[10]

On January 27, 2006, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt told Reuters that energy security will be an important issues at the G8 Finance Minister meeting.[11] Kimmitt states that: "The message from the G7, and within the G8, is that energy security is an issue of common concern that should be dealt with according to the accepted rules of the marketplace, both the economic marketplace but also political marketplace." [12]

Russia announced that it will host the G8 Finance Ministers meeting as a developing country, like South Africa, India, China and Brazil, who they have also invited to attend.[13]

Vice Finance Minister for International Affairs, Hiroshi Watanabe, suggested that foreign exchange issues may come up at the G8 Finance Minister meeting, but that the issue normally is not discussed in detail without the Central Bank governors present.[14] Watanabe stated that: "When discussing the macroeconomy, someone could touch upon foreign exchange."[15] Watanabe also suggested that the recent high crude oil prices, and their effects on the global economy will be discussed.[16] Russia will also host an Energy Ministers Meeting in March, 2006.[17]

The Russian Finance Ministry announced on January 24, 2006, that preparations for the Finance Ministers meeting will be held in Moscow on January 26-27, 2006.[18] G8 deputy finance ministers and special representatives for the G8 financial agenda (the sous sherpas) will discuss the February 10-11 meeting.[19] Russia will be represented by Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak, who is also the Russian financial sous sherpa.[20] Russian Finance Minsiter Alexei Kudrin will travel to Paris to discuss the agenda with French Finance Minister Thierry Breton.[21]

On January 19, Russian Finance Ministry officials suggested that the G8 Finance Ministers meeting may be cancelled.[22] Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov will not send Finance Minister Kudrin to the World Economic Forum in Davos, where Kudrin had scheduled to meet and consult with his French and Italian G8 counterparts.[23] Fradkov decided to send Herman Gref, the Economic Development Minister, instead of Kudrin.[24] Fradkov told Kudrin to make alternative arrangements to plan for the Finance Ministers meeting.[25]

Russian Finance Minister Kudrin announced that Finance ministers from the Republic of South Africa, India, China and Brazil have been invited to attend the G8 Finance Ministers meeting.[26] Russian Finance Minister Kudrin stated that: "We will discuss the role of (these countries) in the world economy and the results of the recent discussions on trade (at the World Trade Organisation summit) in Hong Kong."[27] Russia also stated that a useful purpose would be served by inviting heads of important multilateral organizations, like the United Nations.[28]

On January 23, 2006, Kudrin told cabinet that: "Practically all ministers have confirmed participation to-date."[29]

US Treasury official Tim Adams announced in Washington on January 18, 2006 that Finance Ministers will discuss the impact of high energy prices in Moscow.[30] Adams stated that: "We're not energy ministers so we don't have responsibility for the nuts and bolts of energy policy day in and day out... But we can set sort of a broad tone and think more broadly about the effect of high oil prices on economic growth."[31]

On January 19, 2006, during an official visit to Moscow, French Foreign Minister Philip Doust-Blazy announced that Russia has made extensive and thorough preparations for its G8 presidency, and that France will promote Russia's success in this capacity.[32] Doust-Blazy stated that energy security is a particularly important issue.[33]

Following a meeting with Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin in Tokyo on January 18, 2006, Japanese Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki signalled Japanese support for the Russian Finance Ministers meeting agenda.[34] Kudrin announced that "Russia will touch upon three global issues at the meeting: energy security, efforts against infectious diseases and the development of educational programs."[35] Kudrin has previously met with the Finance Ministers from Germany, the US, and the UK, as well as representatives from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank (who will also attend the meeting) to discuss the prospective agenda.[36] Kudrin stated that he now needs to coordinate the agenda with Italian, French and Canadian officials.[37]

On January 18, 2006, Japanese vice Finance Minister for international affairs, Hiroshi Watanabe, announced in London that the G8 Finance Ministers will discuss the impact of high energy prices and avian flu on the global economy, but will not likely address foreign exchange.[38] Watanabe stated that: "Downside risks (to the global economy) include China, interest rates, avian flu and oil. Of course we are going to talk about oil but it is difficult to talk about interest rates without central banks. So far it seems foreign exchange is unlikely to be the main topic... There is no sign the world's economy will deteriorate suddenly but we need to monitor, so I would say we are cautiously optimistic."[39]

In Washington on January 18, 2006, top US Treasury official, Tim Adams, announced that the G7 believes that a realignment of the Asian currencies is part of the solution to the problem of rising global international trade and investment account imbalances.[40] Adams that he favours an expansion of the G7 to include China, India, Russia and Brazil.[41] Adams noted that: "The G7 is actively discussing what future formal membership of the G7 might look like in years to come... But there is no set timetable as to when we might make decisions about expanded membership or when they might join or who might be in that group."[42] Adams said that it is unclear whether Russia will invite representatives from China, India or Brazil to their G8 Finance Ministers meeting in Moscow in February.[43] Adams also stated that the United States will host a G7 meeting in Washington in April, 2006, and that the administration was considering inviting China, India and Brazil to attend.[44]

At an agenda-setting meeting in Tokyo on January 18, 2006, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told reporters that Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev has requested that the Russian government allocate 500 million rubles ($17.7 million USD) to prevent the spread of bird flu by developing vaccines and other preventive measures.[45]

In Washington on January 13, 2006, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin stated that the agenda for the G8 Finance Ministers meeting had not yet been coordinated.[46] Kudrin indicated that the ministers will discuss the financial provisions for, and "serious financial aspects" of, the issues to be dealt with at the leaders' Summit in St. Petersburg: energy security, infectious disease (including bird flu), and educational programs (including long-distance learning).[47]

On January 13, 2006, in Washington, US Treasury Secretary John Snow stated that while the agenda for the G8 Finance Ministers meeting is still under discussion, "one of the things that could be on the agenda would be the energy outlook, picture and greater transparency in energy data, which is becoming a bigger issue."[48] Snow noted that both energy demand and supply issues are important.[49]

Treasury Secretary Snow stated that the impact of a health pandemic on the global economy is another potential topic for the Finance Ministers meeting, citing AIDS and bird flu as examples.[50] Snow also noted that the ministers would also likely discuss "this whole question of [budget and trade] imbalances and what can be done about them."[51]

Following an official visit to Moscow, German Finance Minsiter Peer Steinbruck stated (in an interview with Kommersant) that: "According to plan, preparation for the summit in St. Petersburg will be at the center of both meetings of finance ministers of the G8 under the chairmanship of Russia, the one in February and the one in June 2006. It cannot be said yet when Russia will be fully integrated into the process connected with the meetings of the finance ministers of the G7 or 8. The more Russia opens its economy, the more it takes on global responsibility, the higher the chances are. Russia's active participation in the initiative to write off the debts of developing nations with very high debt burdens is, of course, a very important step in that direction."[52]

On January 11, 2006, Russian Finance Minister Kudrin announced that the G8 Finance Ministers will meet in Moscow on February 10-11, but that the agenda for the meeting is still open. Analysts expect few initiatives of immediate significance for the financial markets to come out of the meeting the meeting.[53] Unlike previous G7 Finance Ministers meetings, the members' central bank governors will not attend.[54] Kudrin stated that the central themes for the G8 Summit, specifically the worldwide fight against disease, the stability and transparency of energy markets, and educational programs, "will be discussed at the level of finance ministers too."[55]

In the wake of the controversy surrounding Russian energy supplies to the Ukraine, Russian Finance Minister Kudrin noted that Russia aims to increase supplies of oil, coal and gas to world markets, stating that: "When it comes to energy supplies, Russia will not just think of its own interests."[56]

After meeting with German Finance Minister, Peer Steinbruck, Russian Finance Minister Kudrin told reporters on January 11, 2006, that they will continue consultations on the early payment of Russian debt to the Paris Club, where Germany is Russia's largest creditor. Specifically, Kudrin stated that, "We have agreed that we will continue our consultations on Russia's early payment on its Paris Club debt."[57]

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G7 Finance Ministers Meeting II, Washington: April, 2006

In Washington on January 18, 2006, top US Treasury official, Tim Adams stated that the United States will host a G7 meeting in Washington in April, 2006, and that the administration was considering inviting China, India and Brazil to attend.[58]

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G8 Finance Ministers Meeting III, St. Petersburg: June, 2006

On January 18, 2006, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin stated that the second meeting of the G8 Finance Ministers will be held in June, 2006 in St. Petersburg.[59]

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Notes

[1] Nakamichi, Takashi (February 1, 2006), "Japan MOF Watanabe: FX Won't Be On Main G-8 Agenda," Dow Jones.

[2] Nakamichi, Takashi (February 1, 2006), "Japan MOF Watanabe: FX Won't Be On Main G-8 Agenda," Dow Jones.



[1] Reuters (February 3, 2006), "S.Africa finmin to send deputy to G8 meeting."

[2] Jiji Press English News Service (February 2, 2006), "G8 Likely to Discuss Middle East Issues: Former Japan Official."

[3] McCallum, Kenneth (February 2, 2006), "Japan Ex-MOF Mizoguchi: Politics May Be Big Topic At G8," Dow Jones International News.

[4] Jiji Press English News Service (February 2, 2006), "G8 Likely to Discuss Middle East Issues: Former Japan Official."

[5] McCallum, Kenneth (February 2, 2006), "Japan Ex-MOF Mizoguchi: Politics May Be Big Topic At G8," Dow Jones International News.

[6] Di Leo, Luca (January 31, 2006), "Update: Gazprom in Italy Mkt Entry Talks – Russia Fin Min," Dow Jones International News.

[7] RIA Novosty (January 31, 2006), "G8 Finance ministers to talk energy, poor nations' debt – Kurdrin."

[8] Badov, Alan (January 31, 2006), "Russia, Italy Finance ministers to meet in Rome Tuesday," Itar-Tass World Service.

[9] Valia, Guglielmo (January 25, 2006), "Italy Finance Min to Meet Russia Min Next Wk on Gas Crisis," Dow Jones.

[10] Reuters News (January 27, 2006), "No official currency debate at Feb G8 – officials."

[11] Dawson, Stella (January 27, 2006), "Davos Update 1 – Russia should honour mkt rules on oil – U.S." Reuters.

[12] Dawson, Stella (January 27, 2006), "Davos Update 1 – Russia should honour mkt rules on oil – U.S." Reuters.

[13] WPS: What the Papers Say (January 24, 2006), "Russia accepts a special status in the G8Finance Minister Kurdrin reaches a consensus with his G8 counterparts without going to Davos."

[14] Simms, James (January 26, 2006), "Japan MOF Watanabe: Some May Bring Up FX at G8 Mtg," Dow Jones.

[15] Simms, James (January 26, 2006), "Japan MOF Watanabe: Some May Bring Up FX at G8 Mtg," Dow Jones.

[16] Simms, James (January 26, 2006), "Japan MOF Watanabe: Some May Bring Up FX at G8 Mtg," Dow Jones.

[17] Simms, James (January 26, 2006), "Japan MOF Watanabe: Some May Bring Up FX at G8 Mtg," Dow Jones.

[18] RIA Novosty (January 24, 2006), "Preparations for G8 Finance ministers meeting due on Jan 26-27."

[19] RIA Novosty (January 24, 2006), "Preparations for G8 Finance ministers meeting due on Jan 26-27."

[20] Interfax News Service (January 24, 2006), "Working meeting to prepare G8 sessions set for Jan 27."

[21] RIA Novosty (January 24, 2006), "Preparations for G8 Finance ministers meeting due on Jan 26-27."

[22] WPS: What the Papers Say (January 24, 2006), "Russia accepts a special status in the G8Finance Minister Kurdrin reaches a consensus with his G8 counterparts without going to Davos."

[23] WPS: What the Papers Say (January 24, 2006), "Russia accepts a special status in the G8Finance Minister Kurdrin reaches a consensus with his G8 counterparts without going to Davos."

[24] WPS: What the Papers Say (January 24, 2006), "Russia accepts a special status in the G8Finance Minister Kurdrin reaches a consensus with his G8 counterparts without going to Davos."

[25] WPS: What the Papers Say (January 24, 2006), "Russia accepts a special status in the G8Finance Minister Kurdrin reaches a consensus with his G8 counterparts without going to Davos."

[26] Netreba, Pyotr, et al. (January 24, 2006), "Seven and a half," Kommersant.

[27] St. Petersburg Times, Russia (January 24, 2006), "Russian Change of Mind on G8 Invitees."

[28] St. Petersburg Times, Russia (January 24, 2006), "Russian Change of Mind on G8 Invitees."

[29] Netreba, Pyotr, et al. (January 24, 2006), "Seven and a half," Kommersant.

[30] Reuters India (January 18, 2006), "Energy on agenda at G8 finance ministers meeting – US."

[31] Reuters India (January 18, 2006), "Energy on agenda at G8 finance ministers meeting – US."

[32] Itar-Tass (January 19, 2006), "Russia prepares well for its presidency of G8 – French FM."

[33] Itar-Tass (January 19, 2006), "Russia prepares well for its presidency of G8 – French FM."

[34] Fesyun, Andrei (January 18, 2006), "Japan backs Russian agenda for G8 ministerial meeting," RIA Novosti.

[35] Fesyun, Andrei (January 18, 2006), "Japan backs Russian agenda for G8 ministerial meeting," RIA Novosti.

[36] Fesyun, Andrei (January 18, 2006), "Japan backs Russian agenda for G8 ministerial meeting," RIA Novosti.

[37] Fesyun, Andrei (January 18, 2006), "Japan backs Russian agenda for G8 ministerial meeting," RIA Novosti.

[38] Reuters India (January 18, 2006), "Oil, avian flu to top G8 agenda, not FX – Watanabe."

[39] Reuters India (January 18, 2006), "Oil, avian flu to top G8 agenda, not FX – Watanabe."

[40] Dolan, Mike (January 18, 2006), "Adams: Asian FX push consistent with strong dollar," Reuters.

[41] Dolan, Mike (January 18, 2006), "Adams: Asian FX push consistent with strong dollar," Reuters.

[42] Dolan, Mike (January 18, 2006), "Adams: Asian FX push consistent with strong dollar," Reuters.

[43] Dolan, Mike (January 18, 2006), "Adams: Asian FX push consistent with strong dollar," Reuters.

[44] Dolan, Mike (January 18, 2006), "Adams: Asian FX push consistent with strong dollar," Reuters.

[45] Russia Journal (January 18, 2006), "Russian ministries mull bird-flu spending."

[46] Itar-Tass (January 13, 2006), "Russia's Kudrin discusses with colleagues plans of G8 work."

[47] Itar-Tass (January 13, 2006), "Russia's Kudrin discusses with colleagues plans of G8 work."

[48] Gulf Daily News, Bahrain (January 14, 2006), "Energy crisis will top G8 agenda says US."

[49] Gulf Daily News, Bahrain (January 14, 2006), "Energy crisis will top G8 agenda says US."

[50] Reuters (January 14, 2006), "United States Treasury's Snow says energy to be a top G8 item."

[51] Reuters (January 14, 2006), "United States Treasury's Snow says energy to be a top G8 item."

[52] Minaev, Sergey (January 13, 2006), "It is unclear when Russia will be fully integrated into the Ministers of Finance meetings," Kommersant.

[53] Smith, T. Geoffrey (January 11, 2006), "German Fin Min: No Deal On More Repayment of Russian Debt," Dow Jones International News.

[54] Smith, T. Geoffrey (January 11, 2006), "German Fin Min: No Deal On More Repayment of Russian Debt," Dow Jones International News.

[55] Smith, T. Geoffrey (January 11, 2006), "German Fin Min: No Deal On More Repayment of Russian Debt," Dow Jones International News.

[56] Reuters, "January 11, 2006), "Russian FinMin sketches out Feb. 10-11 G8 agenda."

[57] RIA Novosty (January 11, 2006), "Russian, German finance ministers discuss G8 ministerial meeting."

[58] Dolan, Mike (January 18, 2006), "Adams: Asian FX push consistent with strong dollar," Reuters.

[59] RIA Novosti (January 18, 2006), "G8 foreign ministers to meet in Moscow in June."

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Earlier Versions

January 16, 2006
January 23, 2006
January 30, 2006


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