Mubarak, Malaysian Prime Minister Discuss Economy ahead of G-15 Meeting
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad met Sunday ahead of the Group of 15 meeting beginning Monday, Egyptian economy and foreign trade minister Yussef Boutros-Ghali said.
The two leaders discussed general international economic and financial issues, as well as the coordination of Egyptian and Malaysian positions during the two-day meeting, Boutros-Ghali said following the end of the meeting.
Prior to his departure from Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Mahathir issued a call for unity among developing nations to fight what he said are discriminatory policies set by developed countries.
The G15, founded in 1989 to counter the power of the wealthy G7 industrialized nations, has 17 member states.
They are Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Mahathir said G-15 members must boost their clout to stand up against their richer counterparts.
"There is a need ... to work together, to take a similar stand, especially now when it is obvious that the developed countries are ganging up against the developing countries," he told reporters.
"All the policies that they have are directed at exploiting developing countries."
Boutros-Ghali said Mahathir and Mubarak on Sunday discussed the policies adopted by Malaysia when the Asian financial crisis erupted in the summer of 1998.
At the same time, Boutros-Ghali said, the Malaysian leader examined the "possibilities of benefiting from Egyptian experience in the areas of economic reform, development and privatization."
Egypt conceded for the first time in April that it was suffering from an economic crisis. At the time, Mubarak ordered an injection of 7.5 billion dollars over eight months to stimulate the economy.
The Egyptian economy is suffering from a liquidity crisis both in dollar and Egyptian pound terms, which has provoked a paralysis of economic activity that has been denounced both in the press and in business circles.
Egyptian foreign exchange reserves dropped to 15.63 billion dollars in December 1999 from 19.80 billion a year earlier - CAIRO (AFP)
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