G-15 to Forge Shield against Downside of Globalization

Published June 15th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The G-15 group of developing nations will try to forge a common stand in Cairo next week to fight the downside of globalization, a month before the G-8 industrial group meets in Japan, officials say. 

"The 10th summit of the G-15 will study how to meet the economic challenges facing member countries and the negative effects of globalization," Egyptian foreign minister Amr Moussa said here Wednesday. 

A diplomat belonging to one of the African members of the G-15 said the group, when it meets here Monday and Tuesday, would try to "find agreement among themselves" in anticipation of the G-8 meeting in Japan on July 21st. 

Moussa said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will contact the G-8 leadership to convey the G-15 position once it is adopted. 

"The G-15 wants to be part of the world economy and cooperate with the industrialized countries, while taking into account threats posed by globalization and World Trade Organization (WTO) constraints on the economies of developing countries," Moussa said. 

The WTO conference in the US city of Seattle in December stumbled dramatically over differences among the United States, Europe and developing countries over the substance of a new round of trade liberalization. 

The meeting will discuss support for small and medium-sized enterprises in the G-15 group, "real locomotives for employment and growth," Munir Zahran, Egypt's delegate to the G-15 and WTO, told the Al-Ahram Hebdo news weekly. 

The summit will also study means to develop economic and trade cooperation among member countries, which have been separated by geographic and other barriers. 

During preparatory meetings for the summit this week, tourism was raised as one possibility. 

Indonesia proposed setting up a bank to finance joint G-15 economic projects, but Egypt balked, saying "in-depth studies were needed on how to acquire the necessary financing," Egyptian newspapers reported. 

Several heads of state will attend the Cairo summit, which follows last year's event in Jamaica. These include Presidents Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal. 

More than 600 businessmen from the G-15 countries are also invited. 

The G-15, founded in 1989 to counter the power of the wealthy, industrialized nations, actually groups 17 nations. 

They are Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. 

Egypt, which is the current president of the G-15, hosted a meeting in October of the G-15 federation of chambers of commerce and industry, which appealed for more favorable trade terms for developing countries - CAIRO (AFP) 




© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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