Top finance officials of the world's major powers met Saturday in Washington and expressed confidence that an economic upturn is likely early next year. The Group of Seven ministers also developed an action plan for choking off the flow money to terrorist organizations.
The seven finance ministers say decisive action has already been taken to prevent a global recession and assure a recovery early next year. They were referring to coordinated interest rate cuts in America and Europe and the injection of money into the financial system following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The finance minister from four European powers (UK, Germany, France, Italy), Canada, the United States and Japan unveiled an action plan for tracking down the finances of terrorist organizations. The Paris based Financial Action Task Force is to be strengthened and an emergency task force meeting held in Washington at the end of this month. Key developing countries are joining in the work of the task force. The ministers say they are encouraged by the results already achieved in several European countries in seizing assets of terrorist organizations.
The Group of Seven meeting took place under tight security at the U.S. Treasury department, next door to the White House. A one page declaration was issued at the end of the all day meeting at which the head of the International Monetary Fund also participated. This G-7 meeting was to have taken place a week earlier but it was rescheduled because of the cancellation of the annual conference of the IMF and World Bank.
German central bank chief Ernst Welteke says while America may be entering a shallow recession Europe and the rest of the world will avoid recession. The IMF says world economic growth will be slower than had been projected, mainly because of the sharper than expected U.S. slowdown which has been further aggravated by the shock of the terrorist attack.
The meeting was chaired by U.S. treasury secretary Paul O'Neill, who says he expects U.S. growth to be negative in the current fourth quarter of the year. Mr. O'Neill, like his G-7 colleagues, is confident that a global upturn will soon get under way.