We met to prepare the annual Summit of G8 Heads of Government and had productive discussions with colleagues from key emerging economies on a range of global economic issues.
Global growth in 2004 was strong, supported by robust growth in trade along with increasing regional and global integration. Growth is expected to remain robust, although at a more moderate pace, in 2005. Challenges remain, especially: persistent global imbalances and high and volatile oil prices as well as a more balanced distribution of the benefits of globalisation. Vigorous action is required by each country to support a smooth adjustment to more balanced growth. The key priorities in achieving this remain: continued fiscal consolidation in the United States; further structural reforms in Europe and Russia; and further structural reforms, including fiscal consolidation, in Japan. An ambitious result at the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial, including financial services, with a view to concluding the Doha Development Round by end 2006, is crucial for global growth.
Sustained high energy prices are of significant concern since they hamper global economic growth. We welcome efforts to reduce market volatility by improving data to make it more transparent and timely. We call on relevant international institutions to develop a global framework for reporting of oil reserves, which is essential for better informed market decisions, and to undertake further analysis of the workings of the oil market. We urge oil producing countries and companies and consumers to recognise their common interest in ensuring investment in sufficient future supplies of oil and refining capacity, and call on countries and international institutions to work to remove barriers and create a climate conducive to investment throughout the supply chain. We stress the importance of energy efficiency, technology and innovation in ensuring energy security. To help meet the challenge of climate change, we urge the World Bank and other multilateral development banks to increase dialogue with major borrowers on energy issues and put forward specific proposals at their Annual Meetings that encourage cost effective investments in lower carbon energy infrastructure. We agree the IFIs have a role in helping address the impact of higher oil prices on adversely affected developing countries and encourage the IMF to include oil prices in the development of facilities to respond to shocks.
We discussed the continuing challenges of meeting the Millennium Development Goals and have published an update to the Conclusions on Development we published in February.
We committed to further action to enhance the effectiveness of international efforts to counter terrorist financing by improving the process of freezing assets in line with UN resolutions, improving information sharing, and exploring new financial tools to disrupt serious crime.
Source: H.M. Treasury
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