News / Economy

    Spotlight on Currencies at G20 Finance Leaders Summit

    (L-R front row) France's Economy Minister Christine Lagarde, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Australia's treasurer Wayne Swan, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Canada Finance minister Jim Flaherty pose for a group photo at the G20 Fi
    (L-R front row) France's Economy Minister Christine Lagarde, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Australia's treasurer Wayne Swan, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Canada Finance minister Jim Flaherty pose for a group photo at the G20 Fi

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Finance policy makers from the world's 20 largest economies and the heads of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are in South Korea. Their two-day meeting, which began Friday, focuses on avoiding a currency war that could lead to another global economic downturn.

    The Group of 20 nations have a consensus on which way they need to go in terms of currencies. That is the word from Canada's finance minister, Jim Flaherty. He spoke Friday just before the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors began their meeting.

    "Where we're trying to get to is an action plan that will avoid the temptation by some countries to protect their currencies in different ways," Flaherty said.

    None of the G20 members, he explained, wants to be confrontational or leave here without an agreement.

    Officials from host South Korea predict some progress will be made on resolving the currency issue.

    There are growing concerns that many nations may competitively depreciate their currencies to protect exports.

    Many economists, however, caution not to expect any sort of grand bargain similar to the 1985 Plaza Accord, which addressed the value of the U.S. dollar.

    Ahead of the G20 session, ministers of the G7 economies huddled. Canada's Flaherty, who chaired those talks, said there was a "frank exchange of views" at the informal meeting

    China, as the number two economy, faces pressure to stop controlling its currency, which the United States, European Union and Japan say is undervalued.

    The weakened U.S. dollar has prompted more money to pour into Asian currencies where there is a better return on investment. But there are concerns that this flow of money could destabilize economies.

    But research fellow Jeong Young-Sik at the Samsung Economic Research Institute in Seoul does not envision a unified Asian stance at this G20 meeting.

    Jeong expects that Japan, as a highly developed country, will take a stance closer to that of the United States. South Korea and China, he explains, will be more sensitive to the appreciation of their own currencies.

    Japan's finance minister, Yoshihiko Noda, earlier this month said South Korea's role as summit chair would be called into question if it repeatedly intervened to weaken its currency, the won.

    But Noda, on Friday, also rebuffed a U.S. proposal that all G20 nations agree on a target for current account balances to ease currency tensions. He called numerical targets "unrealistic."

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in a letter to G20 members, urges countries running big trade surpluses - notably China - to change policies to boost domestic sources of growth and support global demand. At the same time, he says countries that have trade and budget deficits, such as the U.S., should focus on sustainable policies to cut both.

    The meeting here, which ends Saturday, is to set the agenda for next month's G20 leaders' summit in Seoul.

    Gyeongju is playing host to the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors. On the outskirts of the capital of the ancient Silla kingdom is Yangdong Village.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8998
    JPY
    USD
    103.32
    GBP
    USD
    0.7594
    CAD
    USD
    1.3176
    INR
    USD
    66.954

    Rates may not be current.