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Economic Powers Agree To Boost Growth

The world's leading economies, including emerging powers like China, agreed on Saturday on the need to take measures to stimulate growth and fight off the threat of a global recession.##m:[Read more]##

Central bankers and other top government officials from countries representing most of the world's economy hammered out proposals for their leaders to take to an emergency summit on the financial crisis next weekend in Washington.

Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, pressed the case for emerging heavyweights to have a bigger say in global finance, a cause backed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said the global financial system "collapsed like a house of cards" in the credit crisis due to the "blind faith" of rich countries in self-regulation by markets.

In the United States, President-elect Barack Obama said it was time for Americans to put aside their political differences to focus on averting a deep recession, which he plans to tackle as soon as he moves into the White House in January.

At the annual meeting of the G20 group of the biggest advanced and developing economies in Brazil's bustling business capital, policy makers and officials focused on action they could take to stave off the prospect of a global recession.

"I think there is a consensus on the need for coordinated and decisive action globally, going to first of all fiscal policy," Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan told Reuters.

"It's very important that those countries which have the capacity to stimulate their economy do so."

Swan and others said discussions also touched on the need to further loosen monetary policy in some countries, even after aggressive interest rate cuts by central banks worldwide in recent weeks.

China's central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, said the Asian export powerhouse, one of the few remaining engines of global growth, would help stabilise markets by maintaining its economic expansion, which he forecast at 8-9 per cent in 2009.

— Reuters

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