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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' at 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid