Manmohan in Pittsburgh for G20 summit

By Arvind Padmanabhan, IANS,

Pittsburgh : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived here Thursday for the G20 summit that will take stock of the state of the world economy following the year-long crisis and deliberate upon how to strengthen the global financial regulatory system.

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The summit is being hosted by President Barack Obama.

The leaders are also expected to discuss how to give a renewed thrust to the ongoing negotiations to conclude the Doha Round of multilateral trade talks.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia will be the Prime Minister’s “sherpa” or key aide at the two-day summit that starts Thursday.

This will also be the 10th year of the G20 initiative, which started at the level of officials and central bank governors in 1999 following the East Asia financial crisis, and was elevated to the summit level last November.

It brings together rich nations and dynamic emerging economies to resolve issues relating to the management and regulation of global financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the International Finance Corp.

The Pittsburgh Summit, which will bring together a group of countries that accounts for 90 percent of the global output, 80 percent of world trade and two-thirds of humanity, is also expected to issue a declaration or a communique.

Ahead of the summit, India has also committed to invest up to $10 billion in the IMF as part of the major thrust to wrest a greater say in the running of the international financial institution and replenish the fund to help countries struggling in the current financial crisis.

Besides India and the US, the G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Britain and the EU.