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Lagarde: G20 imbalances deal would be 'big step'


Lagarde: G20 imbalances deal would be 'big step'


France’s economy minister Christine Lagarde, host of a two-day Group of 20 finance ministers meeting in Paris, has said she hopes indicators can be agreed on to address imbalances in the world economy.

Lagarde said G20 countries will have made major progress this weekend if they reach a preliminary accord on what measures they will use to benchmark and address those mismatches. She also said she favoured a freer exchange rate for China’s currency, the yuan.

Her remarks came amid concern that differences of opinion within the Group of 20 may prevent the finance ministers from reaching agreement at the meeting.

They are looking at a five indicators on which to base judgements on whether countries should alter economic policy to redress imbalances.

Lagarde told an Institute of International Finance conference that France, the G20 president this year, hoped a list of indicators could be agreed so that guidelines could be set to help make world growth more stable.

“This is something which is highly debated at the moment and will be in the next couple of days, because some countries do not want to be identifiable as doing such and such a policy,” Lagarde said.

The huge differences between rich and developing countries were also the focus of demonstrators near the G20 venue. They want ministers to put a tax on financial transactions to generate revenue for the poor.

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