News / USA

G8 Leaders Discuss Economic Growth, Fiscal Restraint

Multimedia

Audio

On the first day of the G8 summit in Canada, President Barack Obama and other world leaders held initial discussions on ways to strengthen the global economy and build on commitments from past summits.  Senior U.S. administration officials point to what they call an emerging consensus on the issues of sustaining global economic growth, and fiscal responsibility.



Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally welcomed President Obama and other leaders to the resort north of Toronto, shaking hands with each before the G8 group went into a working lunch, and sessions with leaders from African, Latin American and Caribbean nations invited to the summit.

The G8 includes the eight leading industrial democracies, the U.S., Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Russia, while the larger G20 includes such major emerging powers as China, India and Brazil.

In remarks before he departed Washington,  Mr. Obama said he hopes nations will decide to build on progress by coordinating efforts for economic growth, pursue economic reform, and strengthen the world economy.

"We need to act in concert for a simple reason.  This crisis proved and events continue to affirm that our national economies are inextricably linked, and just as economic turmoil in one place can quickly spread to another, safeguards in each of our nations can help protect all nations," he said.

The president  has been strengthened by an agreement on Friday by House and Senate negotiators on a final version of legislation to reform the U.S. financial system.  Both chambers of Congress will have to approve the bill before the president can sign it.

Senior administration officials said G8 leaders congratulated the president on the development, noting the impact it could have in putting positive rules in to place to prevent another U.S. financial crisis.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked earlier how this would impact president's efforts to steer the G8 and G20 summits toward outcomes he prefers. "I think it demonstrates to the world the steps that we have to continue to take globally in order to ensure that we don't find ourselves in a situation like we did two years ago," he said.

Many G8 leaders face demands in their countries for greater restraint in public spending and pressure to sharply reduce government budgets and deficits.  Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called on G20 nations to cut their deficits in half by 2013.

Senior U.S. Administration officials said the president stressed the need to maintain durable growth while stressing that this also involves fiscal consolidation and debt reduction in the medium term.  

The  officials pointed to confidence about a convergence of views on a broad approach by G20 nations, and said Friday's discussions were a first step on the way to a final outcome on Sunday when the G20 concludes.  

President Obama and other G8 leaders also turned their attention to the developing world, meeting with African leaders invited to the summit, and leaders from Haiti, Jamaica and Colombia.   

Canada's prime minister said a new G8 initiative aims to direct new resources to reducing maternal and infant mortality, adding that Canada would contribute $3 billion over the next five years.  He said the world's wealthier nations must follow through on commitments.

Saying G8 credibility rests on a willingness to honor past commitments, the White House put out a statement listing areas in which the U.S. has fulfilled pledges in areas such as aid to Africa, debt relief, and global health and HIV/AIDS prevention.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs