G20 leaders start summit in Seoul, focusing on int'l financial system, world's economy
Leaders of the world's major developed and developing countries as well as major international institutions started the G20 Seoul Summit on Friday morning, continuing to discuss issues related to "Global Economy and Framework", Xinhua reported.
Attending the Seoul Summit were leaders from the 20 member countries, the European Union, the IMF, the World Bank, the UN, the World Trade Organization, the OECD, the African Union, the ASEAN, and the International Labor Organization, as well as from five non-G20 countries -- Ethiopia, Malawi, Singapore, Spain, Vietnam.
For each of the 24 countries, the head of State and about two finance officials were attending the summit.
At the first plenary session, South Korean President Lee Myung- bak, in his speech, stressed the significance of the agreements reached at the October Gyeongju G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting which helped ease global tensions related to currency issues and global imbalances.
He also discussed the importance of following through on the Mutual Assessment Process (MAP) to avoid future crises and promote strong sustainable growth.
G20 Seoul Summit officially started on Thursday evening when South Korean President Lee Myung-bak hosted a grand welcome reception and a working dinner for leaders of the world's most important economies, including U.S., China, Germany, Japan, Russia, France, Britain and Brazil.
At the two-hour working dinner, G20 leaders began their discussion on issues related to "Global Economy and Framework", touching upon the important issues related to global imbalance and recovery.
The G20 leaders were expected to hold six plenary sessions in the day before issuing a joint communique at around 4 p.m. local time in the day.
As for the rest of the five sessions, according to the official timetable given out to the press, the meetings were scheduled to cover reform on international financial institutions, global financial safety nets, development, financial regulatory reform, anti-corruption, energy, etc.
Even during their lunch breaks, the leaders have been scheduled to talk about trade, climate change and green growth.
The G-20 Seoul Summit is the fifth meeting of the G-20 heads of government, to discuss the global financial system and the world economy, since they first met in November of 2008 to discuss joint responses to the crisis that was rocking the world economy at the time.
Between the Washington Summit and the Seoul Summit, were the London Summit in April of 2009, Pittsburg Summit in September of 2009, and Toronto Summit in June of 2010.
It was the first time for an Asian country, as well as an emerging economy, to host such the G20 summit.