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2009年7月10日 (金)

G8経済宣言 世界景気の回復は道半ばだ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jul. 10, 2009)
World economic recovery still needs diligent care
G8経済宣言 世界景気の回復は道半ばだ(7月10日付・読売社説)

The world economy seems to have left the worst of the financial downturn behind, but continued vigilance is needed.

It is significant that leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized powers reconfirmed their cooperation to find ways out of the financial crisis.

On Wednesday, the G-8 adopted at its summit meeting in L'Aquila, Italy, a declaration relating to various fields, such as the economy and the environment, and a statement on nuclear nonproliferation.

Regarding the world economy, the statement said, "While there are signs of stabilization...the situation remains uncertain and significant risks remain to economic and financial stability."

Since the sudden collapse of U.S. banking giant Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. last autumn, two financial summit meetings have been held by the Group of 20 major developed and developing economies, at which agreements were made on cooperation to implement large-scale fiscal spending and easing of monetary policies.

The G-8 statement on the economy is positive over the fact that the economic downturn seems to have been arrested thanks to international policy coordination, but the statement also acknowledged the continued weakness of the world economy.


Concerns linger

The biggest concern is over aggravated employment. Jobless rates in the United States and Europe have jumped to nearly 10 percent.

This year, Japan, the United States and industrialized nations in Europe simultaneously will register negative economic growth rates for the first time since the end of World War II.

It is still unclear whether the world economy can recover within this year and return to positive growth by next year.

It also is important for G-8 nations and emerging countries such as China and India to enhance cooperation via the G-8.

As the declaration emphasized the taking of all steps necessary, it is vital that no loose reins remain vis-a-vis fiscal policy. The strengthening of employment measures must be expedited.

According to the statement, G-8 leaders agreed on the necessity for exit strategies aimed at dealing with the massive fiscal stimulus packages that were created to tackle the crisis. However, it is premature to implement such exit strategies at this point. It is vital to assess the economic climate carefully to determine the optimum time and method for introducing such exit strategies.


Free trade paramount

The rise of protectionism also is feared as this could adversely affect any early recovery of the world economy.

Despite several agreements that have been made to inhibit protectionism, the United States has introduced a "Buy American" provision that requires any public projects funded by stimulus money to use only U.S.-made products. China and Russia also have adopted protectionist measures.

It is not surprising that G-8 leaders reaffirmed antiprotectionism in their statement. Based on lessons learned from the Great Depression, during which protectionist moves aggravated the economic malaise, free trade should be promoted.

The G-8 also agreed to aim for the early completion of the Doha Round of trade liberalization talks--which has been stalled for eight years--under the World Trade Organization.

A compromise between industrialized nations and emerging and developing economies must be found to get the talks back on track. The outlook of the world economy will be greatly affected by whether an agreement can be reached.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 10, 2009)
(2009年7月10日01時27分  読売新聞)


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