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Statement by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on his departure to UK to attend the second meeting of the leaders of the G-20

New Delhi
March 31, 2009

“I leave today to attend the second meeting of the leaders of the G-20 in London. 

The G-20 has an important role to play in addressing the global economic and financial slowdown by taking coordinated and purposeful action. A considerable amount of preparation has been done for the Summit. These preparations relate to provision of coordinated fiscal stimulus by major economies to offset the decline in private demand, agreement on a set of principles to plug loopholes and weaknesses in the supervisory and regulatory arrangements for the financial institutions and the need to undertake effective measures designed to provide emerging and developing countries adequate resources to offset the effects of global slowdown on their economies. It is important and necessary for the Summit to take credible decisions which will help to halt and reverse the current slowdown and to instil a sense of confidence in the global economy. 

It is an unfortunate reality that the effects of the slowdown have spread across the world, and developing countries, particularly those in Africa, are facing its worst consequences. There are some issues which require particular focus such as the need to ensure the adequate flow of finances to the developing countries to overcome the reversal of international capital flows, and not retard progress towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, the need to avoid protectionism in the trade of both goods and services, facilitation of trade finance, and reform and restructuring of international financial institutions. The time has come for the international economic and financial architecture to reflect contemporary economic strengths. 

India has benefitted from growing global interdependence as manifested in the high growth rate that we have achieved over the last five years. We would like to ensure that our economy continues to expand at a healthy rate to meet the principal challenges of eradicating poverty and ensuring balanced and inclusive socio-economic development for our people. Our economic, financial and banking institutions have shown great resilience and the fundamentals of our economy remain strong. 

Besides a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is the host of the meeting, I also look forward to my meeting with US President Barack Obama. This will be our first meeting and will be an opportunity for us to review our bilateral relations, as well as hold discussions on important regional and global issues such as terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan, energy security and climate change.”