Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Facebook for multilateral economic diplomacy

World Bank president Robert Zoellick has said that the current financial turmoil is a "wake-up call" highlighting the need for a new multilateralism to replace structures built on 20th Century models which have not kept pace with the changes wrought by globalised markets.

He admits the the G7 group of countries "is not working" and suggests a new grouping, with more flexible membership, which includes Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, as well as the current G7. This group would represent more than half the world's population and more than two thirds of its economic output.

"We need a facebook for multilateral economic diplomacy."

He was speaking ahead of a meeting tomorrow of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States in Washington. He would do well to pay attention to one that follows not long after that: the Doha Conference, a summit meeting which will involve many world leaders, and due to happen at the end of next month.

Generally, we agree with these proposals. We don't see enough focus here on tax, along with regulation, though we hope that is now filtering into their thoughts.

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