13 Nov 2010

G20 leaders vow to tackle trade imbalances

8:59 pm on 13 November 2010

G20 leaders meeting in South Korea say they have agreed to avoid the "competitive devaluation" of currencies, and will come up with guidelines to tackle trade imbalances.

Tensions had been high between some delegations over how to correct distortions in currency and trade, but the agreement fell short of a US push to limit trade deficits, the BBC reports.

The leaders' final communique also promises to renew efforts to reach a worldwide trade deal in talks next year.

So far, all such target dates have been missed, starting with the original of 1 January 2005, though Reuters reports growing optimism at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva that the negotiations could be ready for a final push.

The G20 leaders also backed reforms designed to give emerging economies such as China a bigger say in the International Monetary Fund.

Concerns over Irish debt

Meanwhile, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain have issued a joint declaration to try to calm bond-market jitters over a possible future European Union bailout fund.

With Irish bond yields hitting a fresh high, leaders discussed the Irish Republic's debt crisis amid concerns that the EU will have to step in.

The declaration says any new bailout mechanism will come into effect only after mid-2013 and thus have no impact on the current arrangements.