(AFP) – Oct 25, 2008
BEIJING (AFP) — European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told AFP Saturday it was possible to reach "concrete and important" decisions at a summit next month in Washington on the global financial crisis.
"I see there is an emerging consensus that will make it possible for the Washington summit to come (up) with concrete and important decisions," he said in an interview after a two-day summit of Asian and European leaders here.
The world's richest nations and biggest emerging economies are set to gather in Washington on November 15 within the framework of the Group of 20 to address the worldwide financial turmoil.
Barroso also said the current crisis provided a window of opportunity to overhaul the Bretton Woods system, which has governed the global financial system since the end of World War II.
"It's now we can do it. If not now, when? Because now I see there are more open minds around this. That possibility frankly would not have been realistic one year ago or even some months ago," he said.
"Now I see that there is a real desire. The fact that so quickly all the Asian leaders agreed on the principles that we brought to this meeting is a good demonstration of the possibility of reaching a consensus."
There was a sense that it was necessary to act fast in order to exploit the window of opportunity, he said.
"I think that we are now acting fast. The fact that it was accepted so quickly, this idea of this international conference, is a good demonstration not to want this window to be closed."
He said that China could contribute to a solution of the financial crisis, not just by keeping up economic growth, but also by talking to other nations on preserving monetary stability.
"It is important that China also accepts to engage in this kind of dialogue on monetary stability," he said.
EU and Chinese officials would meet on monetary issues on or during a summit between the two sides in Lyon, France, in December, he said.
Coordination between the central banks of China, Europe and elsewhere would be a subject of discussion, with the issue of revaluing the Chinese currency another topic that could be on the agenda, he said.
China cut interests rates almost at the same time as the European Union and a number of countries early this month, triggering speculation that it had coordinated its move with others beforehand.
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