Washington, DC, October 8, 2010

Archived - Minister of Finance Announces Concrete Results From His Chairmanship of the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, joined Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma today in announcing results from the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting, held earlier in the day.

Minister Flaherty chaired the meeting at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, where he is also hosting a Group of Seven (G-7) dinner and attending the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

“We appreciate the support of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in welcoming the Commonwealth Finance Ministers during their first meeting in Washington,” said Minister Flaherty.

“My fellow Ministers and I have had a productive and focused discussion on global economic policy and have identified several measures for further work that could be brought forward by the group to the wider international community.”

Minister Flaherty said that Commonwealth Finance Ministers discussed developments in the global economy and recognized that all countries have an interest in maintaining the global economic recovery.

“We valued this opportunity to share our diverse experiences during the global economic crisis and recognize that global policy should incorporate the needs of all countries,” said Minister Flaherty. “This meeting allowed us to have a very good discussion among G-20 and non-G-20 countries, as we look to strengthen the dialogue between these two groups.”

Ministers agreed that in regional and international fora in the coming months, Commonwealth members would focus on:

  • Continuing effective international macroeconomic policy cooperation to support global economic recovery.
  • Ensuring that international financial institutions have the right tools and resources to support growth and development.
  • Seeking international agreement for the rapid conclusion of the Doha Round of trade negotiations to ensure an outcome that favours international development.
  • Promoting economic growth in the poorest countries to accelerate progress toward achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
  • Recognizing the importance of the agricultural sector in developing countries, both for domestic food security and as a driver of economic growth.

With respect to this last point, Canada will be among the first countries to help fund a private sector facility within the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program aimed at strengthening food security in low-income countries. Canada’s contribution will total $50 million.

In addition to agriculture and food security, Commonwealth Finance Ministers discussed the effectiveness of aid and access to financial services for households and small businesses in developing countries. They also discussed proposals to address the debt management and financing needs of small and vulnerable Commonwealth countries.

Also discussed was how to best integrate economic growth with environmentally sustainable development—a topic that will be featured in an environmental finance conference that the Commonwealth Secretariat is organizing next year.

The Commonwealth Finance Ministers will next meet in Washington in October 2011 under the chairmanship of one of the Commonwealth’s Pacific members. 

For further information on the Commonwealth, please visit www.thecommonwealth.org.

For further information, media may contact:

Annette Robertson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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