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Manmohan Singh arrives in Cannes for G20 Summit


Updated: November 3, 2011, 9:28 AM IST
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Manmohan Singh arrives in Cannes for G20 Summit
India has already said it was willing to join any multilateral effort to resolve the crisis.

Cannes: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Cannes today in this French coastal resort to attend the crucial summit of world's 20 powerful economies (G20), saying difficult decisions are needed swiftly to address the crisis in Eurozone and elsewhere.

Government sources said the G20 faces a big test in ensuring that concrete steps are taken for recovery of the global economy.

The sources said that no country in the 17-nation Eurozone has made a request bilaterally to India to chip in to help it tide over the crisis.

India has already said it was willing to join any multilateral effort to resolve the crisis.

Singh, who will be at the G20 summit for the sixth consecutive time since it was first hosted by the US in 2008, is also likely to push through India's agenda for voluntary exchange of tax information to curb black money.

In a statement in New Delhi before departure, Singh said the twin summits of the European Union and Eurozone a few days ago have helped to restore a measure of confidence in the markets but much more needs to be done.

"It is imperative that the difficult decisions needed to address the economic challenges in Europe and elsewhere are taken swiftly," Singh said.

The prime minister said the Eurozone is a historic project. "India would like the Eurozone to prosper because in Europe's prosperity lies our own prosperity," he said.

Singh noted that the Cannes Summit takes place against the backdrop of the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone and the crisis has emerged as the principal source of concern for the global economy.

He expected the G20 summit to signal a "strong and coordinated approach" to put the global economy back on track, while addressing medium term structural issues.

"It is important for the Cannes Summit to signal a strong and coordinated approach to put the global economy back on track, while addressing medium term structural issues," he said.

Developing economies such as India need a conducive global economic environment to address the vast challenges they face, he said.

Singh is accompanied by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon. India wants the G20, which accounts for 85 per cent of the global output and two-thirds of the world population, to include new measures to clamp tax violation channels.

The two-day meet will be dominated by efforts by European leaders to resolve the sovereign debt crisis after the 17-nation Eurozone sealed a deal last month critical for global economic recovery.

The summit hosted by French President Nikolas Sarkozy is expected to seek commitments from all G20 members on growth and on rebalancing public finances.

US President Barack Obama, British Premier David Cameron and Chinese President Hu Jintao will be among the world leaders at the critical summit.

Singh is expected to make a strong pitch to the G20 to take necessary steps to address current economic instability and to put open trade, jobs, social protection and economic development at the heart of the recovery. While underscoring the need to avoid protectionism, he is expected to advocate the importance of an open, transparent and rules-based multilateral trading system as a driver of global growth.

The economist-turned prime minister, whose advice is often sought at the G20 high table, is expected to give this prescription for providing the necessary confidence to global markets and ensure a more stable global economic environment. Like in the previous five summits at Washington, London, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Seoul, Ahluwalia will be the prime minister's sherpa, or chief interlocutor at the Cannes meet.

First Published: November 3, 2011, 9:28 AM IST
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