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Geithner: G7 Must Move Swiftly on Global Economy

Monday, 09 Feb 2009 12:19 PM

WASHINGTON – US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner urged finance ministers of the Group of Seven nations Monday to act "promptly to restore health to the global economy," a statement said.

The Treasury said Geithner spoke early Monday to "a collective group of G7 finance ministers via conference call" ahead of the upcoming gathering in Rome opening Friday.

"His outreach underscored the imperative of all countries acting promptly to restore health to the global economy and financial sectors," the statement said.

"He looks forward to further discussions on this topic with G7 ministers in Rome this weekend."

The statement offered no further details of any specific plans or proposals for the G7 meeting.

Geithner is to travel to Italy for the gathering of top finance officials including central bank governors, a meeting which normally plays a key role in economic coordination among the major industrialized nations.

The G7 in recent months has taken a back seat to the Group of 20, which includes the G7 as well as leading emerging economies such as China and Brazil.

Washington hosted the first G20 summit in November and a new G20 summit on the crisis is to be held in London in April.

The G7 groups the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada.

Geithner's office said he also spoke with his Chinese counterpart Vice Premier Wang Qishan for a second time in a week and agreed on a need for "strong cooperation" on economic matters.

In a phone conversation Sunday, "The two agreed that strong cooperation on macroeconomic, financial and regulatory matters was an essential part of the US relationship with China and that it was important to sustain close dialogue, particularly at this time of global financial turmoil," a Treasury statement said.

The two economic leaders had conversed a week earlier by phone and agreed on the need to continue high-level talks on economic issues.

The new administration has not explicitly said whether the twice-yearly US-China "Strategic Economic Dialogue" held under President George W. Bush's administration would be continued.

© 2009 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.


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