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G-20 Finance Officials Meet in Mexico - 2003-10-27


Finance ministers and central bank heads from 20 nations are meeting Monday in Mexico on the global economy and the fight against terrorism.

The war in Iraq was a major topic of discussions on Sunday, as the senior financial officials began their meetings at Morelia, in mountains west of Mexico City.

The chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan ,addressed the gathering in private. In a brief portion of his speech broadcast to journalists, he said the U.S. economy has been greatly influenced by the conflict in Iraq.

U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow asked finance ministers from the Group of 20, which includes both rich nations and emerging-market economies, to donate money to help Iraq's reconstruction.

On the world economic outlook, Mr. Snow said the senior financial officials at the meeting are optimistic about prospects for future growth, although they are concerned about a number of issues, including the question of whether China will adjust its currency's link to the U.S. dollar.

Mexican Foreign Minister Francisco Gil told delegates the global economy is too dependent on the U.S. economy. He also said nations must share intelligence information in order to cut off terrorists' funds.

During Monday's meetings, the G-20 is expected to take up the question of reviving global trade negotiations, following the failure of last month's trade liberalization talks in the Mexican resort of Cancun.

That meeting of the World Trade Organization broke down over such controversial topics as the elimination of agricultural export subsidies by industrialized nations and proposals to extend the WTO's mandate to such matters as cross-border investment.

Members of the Group of 20 account for more than 60 percent of the world's population, and about 80 percent of its income. They include the United States, Japan, the major European industrial powers and the European Union, as well as Russia, China, Canada, Australia, India and Indonesia, plus Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and South Korea.

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