G-8 finance ministers coordinate economic agenda for summit

The economic agenda for the G-8 (Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, Russia, the United States, France and Japan) summit in Sea Island, Georgia on June 8-10 was coordinated in a two-day meeting of G-8 finance ministers that ended Sunday in New York.

Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said that decisions had been drafted on "the coordinating mechanism for financing and supporting entrepreneurship which is intended to achieve economic growth in the Middle East."

"Initially, it was planned to set up new institutions for this purpose, but then we agreed to create a coordinating mechanism on the basis of organizations that were already operating," Mr. Kudrin said. "I think this will be a serious step forward, because the important thing in the Middle East is not the amount of money but the concentration of efforts on the most important programs. The International Financial Corporation, part of the World Bank, and G-8 countries will take part in them."

The Russian minister pointed out that these measures would also be used in Iraq. "We did not discuss the political situation in Iraq, but we talked about the further steps for restoring the economy of the country and the completion of the through analysis of the economy that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are doing. In one or two weeks we expect to receive the results of this analysis," Mr. Kudrin added.

In their communique on the results of the meeting, the ministers called for intensifying economic reforms in the Middle East and confirmed their adherence to facilitating the debt burden of the poorest countries.

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