Group of 20 (G20) leaders faced calls to place cooperation above competition as they resumed their talks in Seoul Friday. The first round of discussions in the South Korean capital saw acrimony prevail, with exporting powerhouses China and Germany criticising the US’ monetary policy which has led to a weak dollar — and leaders expressing differing views on how to reduce trade imbalances.
Prior to the start of Friday morning’s session, US President Barack Obama was seen chatting at length with outgoing Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, who Thursday had warned that the world economy would head for “bankruptcy” unless rich nations boosted internal demand rather than rely on exports for their recovery.
Obama has vowed to double US exports within five years, but has so far had to deflect criticism rather than impose his own agenda in Seoul.
Friday’s opening session was devoted to further discussions on the state of the global recovery, at risk from a currency war fuelled by a mutual desire to make exports cheaper and imports more expensive.
The rest of the day was to be devoted to reforming global finance, climate change funding and development — an issue being dealt with for the first time by the G20.