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Chancellor: Summit Was "Extraordinary Success" — "Far-Reaching Decisions for the World Economy"

Gerhard Schroeder, German Chancellor
Press Release, Kön, Germany, June 21, 1999

Chancellor Gerhard Schröder referred to the economic summit held by the leaders of the world's seven leading industrial nations and Russia (G8) in Cologne as an "extraordinary success". Speaking yesterday at the conclusion of the three-day meeting the Chancellor said that very far-reaching decisions had been taken.

In this context he underscored the importance of the proposal made to create a new financial architecture as well as the commitment to free world trade expressed by all the participants. He noted that banks, insurance companies, and funds in the private sector are to be involved more strongly in the future in dealing with severe financial crises such as those that occurred recently in Asia and South America. He indicated that the G8 did not want to continue to permit a situation to exist in which private institutions do good business by investing in emerging economies but taxpayers are asked to foot the bill for loans that go bad.

Schröder reported that the summit leaders were in agreement that the world trade talks scheduled to be held in Seattle next year needed to be comprehensive. They took the view that China and Russia should be included in the talks. All the G8 countries clearly stated that they were against protectionism and for free world trade. This was one of the most important signals sent out from the summit, the Chancellor said.

The G8 countries (the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, and Russia) expressed their commitment to globalisation "with a human face", i.e. globalisation which does not result in the social marginalisation of people. The world's poorest countries are to be forgiven debts amounting to 70 billion dollars, a large part of the foreign debt that currently weighs them down, thus opening up the way for more economic growth.

Source: Germany's official Summit Site

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