Thursday, 13 November 2008

India at G20 meet shows changing global economy - PM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's presence at an emergency summit in Washington to decide on how to contain the damage from the financial crisis shows the changing landscape of the global economy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.

Emerging economies of the G20 are expected to demand a greater say in global financial decision-making at their summit with industrialised nations after the crisis put major nations on the verge of recession.

Singh, who left on Thursday for this weekend's summit, said in a statement India would push for greater inclusivity in the international financial system and emphasise the need to ensure growth prospects of the developing countries do not suffer.

"As a major developing economy which is getting increasingly integrated with the global economy, India has a vital stake in the stability of the international economic and financial system," Singh said.

Policy makers are struggling to fend off damage to the economy from the global credit crisis and have taken a number of measures, including rate cuts, to protect growth in Asia's third-largest economy.

The Bush administration said on Wednesday the G20 meeting should be able to identify some specific measures for calming anxious financial markets and said it was timely for them to meet now.

British officials in Washington chimed in with support for the meetings on Friday night and on Saturday, saying it might help restore battered confidence in markets by showing key developed and emerging-market countries were working together.

India's impressive growth of over 9 percent in the past few years has attracted global attention and investors have moved in to take part in the long-term growth prospects.

Its economic clout has meant India is an important voice in major global economic and political foras and New Delhi has been acknowledged as a leader of developing countries at world trade talks.

But the global credit crisis has hurt its stock market, the rupee, exports and the manufacturing sector and prospects of a major slowdown in growth from around 9 percent in the last three years look real.

"It has become clear over the last several weeks that the effects of the crisis are spreading. In varying degrees, all countries will be impacted. We are facing the prospect of a global economic slowdown, Singh said before leaving.

"The summit also has an important role to play in considering corrective measures to prevent future recurrence of such events. The issues involved are complex and will require sustained deliberation over a period of time."

Leaders of the G20, which includes top industrial and developing economies such as France, Great Britain, Italy, China, Brazil and India are taking part in the part in the summit.

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