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Statement of G-7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

Date Posted: 2000-04-01

We, the Finance Ministers of the G-7 countries, the Central Bank Governors of Canada, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom, the Euro-11 Presidency, and the President of the European Central Bank, met today with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund to review recent developments in the world economy. The Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the G-7 countries reviewed the progress made towards strengthening the international financial architecture and implementing the HIPC Initiative.

We expressed our deep gratitude to Mr. Camdessus for his thirteen years of valuable service as the IMF's Managing Director and for his contributions to our meetings.

Developments in the World Economy

We see improved prospects for non-inflationary growth in the major industrial economies and the world economy as a whole. The challenge remains to secure a more balanced pattern of growth among our economies that is important to sustaining the expansion. We agreed on the importance of directing both macroeconomic and structural policies in all our countries at this objective, with particular emphasis on taking advantage of the investment opportunities created by new technologies.

Open and competitive international markets for trade and investment are essential for efficient global resource allocation, sustainable growth, stability, and shared prosperity. We reaffirm our commitment to achieving further trade liberalization through the launching of a new multilateral trade round at the earliest opportunity.

We reemphasized our commitment to maintain or create conditions for sustainable growth in each country. In this context, we stressed the importance of continued cooperation among the G-7 countries.

In the United States and Canada, economies are showing continued strength, while unemployment and inflation are historically low. The aim of policies now is to preserve conditions conducive to sustainable growth by maintaining strong fiscal conditions, prudent monetary policy, and, in the United States, increasing national saving.

In the United Kingdom, growth has strengthened. Labor market activity has remained robust, and interest rates have risen preemptively in recent months in the face of stronger domestic demand. Policies should continue to aim at meeting the inflation target and sustaining growth and employment.

Recovery of growth is well under way in the euro area. With the unemployment rate falling though still high in many countries, appropriate macroeconomic and structural policies, aimed at strengthening economic growth, increasing employment and expanding investment opportunities, will continue to be important.

Japan's economy has shown some encouraging signs of recovery, although a sustained recovery remains to be established. In these circumstances, the Japanese authorities are implementing the second supplementary budget and announced FY2000 budget proposal maintaining stimulus to ensure domestic-demand-led growth. They reiterated their intention, in the context of their zero interest rate policy, to provide ample liquidity to ensure that deflationary concerns are dispelled. Measures to further strengthen the financial system and structural reforms will continue to be important.

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