15 Feb 2009

G7 pledge to stabilise markets

2:28 pm on 15 February 2009

Leading industrial countries say stabilising financial markets and the world economy is their top priority.

Finance ministers at a G7 meeting in Italy said on Saturday they would work together to support growth and jobs.

They called for urgent IMF reform, saying the crisis had shown weaknesses in the world financial system. And they pledged to oppose protectionism.

Earlier, the US Congress approved an $US787 billion economic recovery plan that includes a 'Buy American' clause.

The BBC reports the measure has caused some countries to worry about US protectionism.

However, new US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner dismissed such concerns.

In a statement issued after the meeting, he said: "All countries need to sustain a commitment to open trade and investment policies which are essential to economic growth and prosperity."

The G7 comprises the United States, Britain, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada.

British Chancellor Alistair Darling said the meeting was a prelude to another in London in April of the G20 group, which also includes big emerging economies such as China and India.