G20 Leaders Gathering in Pittsburgh

Thursday G20 leaders were gathering in Pittsburgh, city that has reinvented itself. The leaders representing 85 percent of the world's economic output hope to bolster the global economy.

The Group of 20 will meet for two days to focus on the worldwide financial crisis, and plot how to avoid a repeat in the future.

The White House is using the economic summit to showcase Pittsburgh -- a city that President Barack Obama says has exhibited an innovative 21st-century recovery after a well-publicized downfall following the shuttering of much of the city's steel industry.

Pittsburgh "has transformed itself from the city of steel to a center for high-tech innovation -- including green technology, education and training, and research and development," the president said.

Most of the world leaders have come from New York, where they attended the start of the U.N. General Assembly. The G-20 gathering is Obama's first time hosting a major international summit, CNN reports.

U.S. President Obama and other leaders of the G20 major developed and developing countries are due to meet in Pittsburgh on Thursday and Friday, with restoring economic growth and rewriting the rules of finance high on the agenda.

Central to the summit -- the third since the collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank a year ago -- will be a U.S. plan to correct the imbalances in the world economy by shrinking surpluses in big exporting countries like China and boosting savings in debt-laden nations that include the United States.

Obama wants a framework of "mutual assessment" whereby the International Monetary Fund makes policy recommendations on rebalancing to the G20 every six months.

Analysts believe Obama's plan will meet resistance from Beijing should it pose any risk to China's export-driven economic growth. So far, China is sounding engaged.

"We approve of countries strengthening their macroeconomic policy coordination and together pushing forward the sustainable and balanced development of the world economy," China's Foreign Ministry said, Reuters reports.

In separate dinners Thursday at the Phipps Conservatory, the heads of state and their financial ministers are expected to assess their previous efforts to rouse the global economy out of its slump, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

On Friday, the meetings move to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where the leaders are expected to discuss trade, climate change, tightening financial regulations and the global financial crisis, United Press International reports.