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Korea-chaired G20 Meeting Opens in Washington

Posted April. 24, 2010 05:24,   


This year’s first meeting of finance ministers and the heads of central banks from the Group of 20 economies opened in Washington yesterday.

According to the preparatory committee for the G20 summit slated for November in Seoul, the meeting’s three main agenda are the sharing of public risk by financial institutions, subsidization of fossil energy, and review of the process for next month’s G20 summit in Canada.

The meeting is being hosted by Korean Finance and Strategy Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun.

Countries are unlikely to reach a consensus on the proposed international tax on banks, an issue at the heart of the meeting. While advanced economies such as the U.S., Britain and France support the idea, emerging economies are strongly opposed. Therefore, a communiqué will likely outline general principles and detailed measures will be announced at the Toronto summit.

The International Monetary Fund has submitted an interim report urging taxation on banks’ non-deposit debts and profits and bonuses that exceed a certain level.

Korea is enjoying heightened status as the chair country of this meeting and the chair and host of the November summit, receiving attention from other participating countries, international organizations and media.

When a group of Korean officials spoke to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Thursday at his office, a Korean national flag hung side by side with the U.S. flag in his office. In another unusual move, both of Geithner’s two undersecretaries sat with him.

In addition, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and World Bank President Robert Zoellick asked Seoul to have Minister Yoon give more time for their interviews.