STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA
Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the following remarks on the closing of the G-20 Summit:
“Greetings once again. We arrived here amid growing concerns over the growth of sovereign debt. As we strive to build strong, sustainable and balanced economies, that is the issue we have had to tackle head-on, and we have arrived at firm targets for advanced economies on debt reduction and reducing debt-GDP ratios. The targets are a 50 per cent deficit reduction by 2013 and a debt-to-GDP ratio that should be at least stabilized or on a downward trend by 2016. Now, that said, all leaders recognized that fiscal consolidation is not an end in itself. There will be a continued role for ongoing stimulus in the short term as we develop the framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
“In terms of the framework, we want to applaud a number of recent actions that are important downpayments on that framework, if I can use that term. First of all, the budget of the United Kingdom, which strongly tackled the British deficit, Chinese flexibility on exchange rates and the new U.S. law on financial sector reform. The G-20 Summit declaration that puts some of the meat on the bones of the framework of strong, sustainable and balanced growth will lead us to country level assessments as we approach the next meeting in Seoul.
“It’s also important to note agreement on ongoing and important financial sector reforms, specifically to increase the quality and quantity of capital standards, to enhance prudent and regulatory oversight and a commitment, most importantly, to accelerate this work and complete it by the summit in South Korea. I should note as well the issue of bank levies has been left to individual countries. There are important agreements on a number of other matters. I’ll just mention a couple: continued progress on anti-protectionism, we’ve agreed to extend the Washington standstill for another three years, and debt relief for the country of Haiti, which as you know, is an important priority for Canada. There is also some important work that’s been completed, I should mention as well, on reform of international institutions. That work will also continue as we move forward. The G-20 still has a lot to do to fully entrench recovery. The G-20 still has a lot to do to fully entrench the global recovery, but these are important steps forward, and as you know, they were steps that Canada has been seeking.”
The above remarks are also available at http://pm.gc.ca
(Image credit: PMO)