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--Senatorwole 08:36, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Ecomonics sets the pace for global resourc
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water ways

e management . Do we see a change in the major Economies of the world , as the world comes to singapore lets join our heads together and think out what are the benefits awaiting singapore after the IMF..
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lake view

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Thinking Globally


TEXT-Draft of EU declaration for IMF Singapore meetings

HELSINKI, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Following is the draft of an EU declaration to be delivered at mid-September meetings of the International Monetary Fund in Singapore, concerning the economic outlook and proposals to revamp the IMF. Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the European Union met in Helsinki on Sept. 8-9 and approved the declaration for delivery by Finnish Finance Minister Eero Heinaluoma, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency.

Text follows:

Statement by Minister of Finance Eero Heinaluoma, in his capacity as Chairman of the EU Council of Economic and Finance Ministers, to the IMFC Autumn 2006 meeting:

1) I submit in my capacity as Chairman of the EU Council of the Economic and Finance Ministers, this statement which focuses on: the world economy; the strategic direction of the IMF; surveillance and Fund instruments; the role of the Fund in low income countries; debt relief and development financing; and governance in the IMF.

Economic Situation and Outlook

2) Global economic growth remained strong in 2005 and a similar outcome is projected for 2006. Growth in North America is still robust, albeit slowing, while growth is accelerating in the EU and remains stable in Japan. The emerging Asian economies, including China and India, continue to grow strongly. Some weakening of world growth is foreseen in 2007, due to a projected slowing of U.S. activity and the adverse impact of persistently high oil prices. Very high oil prices, and the persisting large global imbalances continue to constitute the major downside risks to global growth. Moreover, the U.S. housing market could dampen more than expected.

3) Since the beginning of the year, the EU has returned to a robust growth path. In the first half of 2006, both the EU25 and the euro area growth rates were above potential, with growth further accelerating in the second quarter. Buoyant business and consumer confidence indicators support the positive outlook for 2006 and 2007, though subject to some downside risks. Concerning price developments, sharp increases in oil prices have brought inflation in the euro area above 2%. The rising energy prices constitute a risk to medium-term price stability, although there is so far no significant evidence of pass-through to non-energy consumer prices and wage pressure. In particular, growth in unit labour costs has been very moderate.

4) The key economic policy challenges at the current juncture include ensuring an orderly correction of the global imbalances, pursuing sound fiscal and structural policies and addressing the energy related issues. In this context:

- In light of the size and duration of the global imbalances, their orderly correction should be promoted so as to avoid potential risks to financial stability, as well as to minimise the risk of protectionist reactions. This is a shared responsibility and should be done in a way that minimizes disturbances to sustained growth. Addressing global imbalances requires determined and mutually supportive action by all parties. In particular, increased saving in the U.S., further exchange-rate flexibility domestically oriented growth in main Asian surplus economics and higher investment growth in oil-exporting countries are key in achieving an orderly adjustment. Structural reform in Europe is pursued on its own merits in order to increase potential growth and resilience to external shocks from possible global imbalances. Such reforms in the EU and Japan can also contribute to rebalancing growth and to facilitate the adjustment process.

- Moreover, substantive trade liberalisation and stronger multilateral rules, including trade facilitation and supporting sustainable development must remain a top priority in trade policy. In this respect, the EU deeply regrets the suspension of the Doha Development Round last July. All key participants must take the necessary action to secure a successful outcome. The EU is firmly committed to play its role. We remain firmly committed to open markets, progressive trade liberalisation and multilateral rules. The EU also confirms its commitment to deepen individual and collective efforts to combat piracy and counterfeiting. The Doha Development Agenda remains a central priority of our trade policy. We will continue to strive for a result that will deliver real cuts in tariffs and subsidies and will foster new trade flows, as part of a deal that should bring benefits to all WTO Members. The recent setback in the trade negotiations should not be used as an excuse for protectionist measures.

- In the EU, many Member States face important fiscal challenges, including those due to population ageing, although progress has been made towards securing more sustainable public finances, not least through pension reform. The reform of the Stability and Growth Pact emphasised the sustainability of public finances. Advantage needs to be taken of the positive economic outlook for ambitious improvements of the budgetary position. This will contribute to a better policy mix, create more room for manoeuvre in downturns and contribute to reducing debt levels significantly before the budgetary effects of ageing set in.

- The re-launched Lisbon strategy has reinforced the EU's priorities of achieving growth and employment by promoting knowledge, attracting more people into the labour market and creating more jobs. The preparation of National Reform Programmes under the revised Lisbon Agenda, and their debate in national Parliaments and with stakeholders, is an important step in that process. The structural reforms undertaken are already yielding positive results. Labour market policies, mainly focusing on the labour supply side, have contributed to increasing labour market participation. The employment rate has risen significantly since the turn of the century. Progress is also being made in improving the Internal Market's regulatory framework and in reducing administrative burdens. The EU countries are committed to further strengthening their reform efforts. In particular, the adoption of a new EU directive on services is a major step towards the deepening of the internal market.

Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of Reuters Limited Copyright © 2006 Yahoo! Pte Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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