labels: economy - general, world economic forum
Merkel opens WEF forum with emphasis on dialogue news
25 January 2007

Davos: German chancellor Angela Merkel opened the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying she wanted dialogue with emerging powers and that the Doha trade talks must succeed.

Chancellor Merkel addressed the plenary session of the WEF's annual meeting on Wednesday (January 24) and said that Germany would launch a new dialogue with emerging powers during its presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised nations.

Germany took over the dual presidencies of the European Union and the G8 this month and Merkel's speech in Davos was billed as one of the highlights of the annual conference.

In her opening remarks, she said western leaders must convince voters of the benefits of globalisation, while also warning of the flip side of globalisation — what was an opportunity for some translated into fear for others — and called on politicians to create a framework that ensured globalisation would be fair to everyone.

This would require new flexibility from all participants - the European Union, the United States and emerging economies. "The responsibility for a success lies on many shoulders," she said.

She noted the rise of new economic powers like India, China and Brazil, who were important players in the global economy and whose emergence, Merkel said, should be seen as both a challenge and an opportunity.

She also expressed her resolve to forge "new forms of dialogue" with these countries at a G8 summit that she proposed to host in June 2007. In addition to the G8 countries -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and Russia -- Germany has invited leaders from Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa to this summit.

Trade ministers from more than 30 countries are meeting on the sidelines of Davos, and the German chancellor expressed hope that they could give a fresh impulse to trade liberalisation, which she said would benefit everybody.

"For the G8 summit in Germany, we want to focus on a new dialogue with the big emerging countries; with Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. Dialogue should be started there and then be shifted to other international organisations because we need a coherent, common way forward in the various international forums. I am convinced that the condition for global growth is the openness of the world markets," she said.


 search domain-b
Merkel opens WEF forum with emphasis on dialogue