Brown calls for globalisation debate at G8 talks
LONDON, June 5, 2006 (AFP) -Britain's finance minister Gordon Brown said Monday he would ask his counterparts from the Group of Eight industrialised powers to "lead the debate" on globalisation at talks this weekend in Russia.
Brown used a speech to the British employers' organisation, the CBI, to return to a favourite topic, protectionism.
At a meeting of G8 finance ministers in Saint Petersburg, starting Friday, "I will call for world finance ministers to lead the debate about who benefits from globalisation," Brown said.
"The starting point is breaking the world trade deadlock. Heads of government should stand ready to use all the resources of leadership and statesmanship," he said.
Brown described Europe's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as a "stain on our commitment to make globalisation work".
"What better signal could Europe send of its commitment ... than a successful reform of agricultural protectionism?" he continued.
Brown called on the G8 and Europe to show leadership in addressing the challenges of globalisation, by setting a timetable for the completion of trade talks for fundamental reform of the CAP.
He said he would organise a globalisation conference in London later in the autumn, as well as a business forum at the next meeting of the International Monetary Fund in September, bringing together world finance and business leaders.
Brown also repeated his call for the establishment of a "barrier-free transatlantic marketplace", saying Britain was prepared to take a lead.