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For Brazilian President the G-8 Is Dead, Long Live the G-20

Lula in Washington for G-20 summit Brazilian President Lula da Silva said on Saturday the Group of Eight is no longer relevant in today's globalized world and the role of developing international financial regulations must fall to the so-called Group of 20.

Lula da Silva made his comments Saturday before meeting with US President George W. Bush and other world leaders in Washington to discuss the global financial meltdown.

"Emerging economies have to be taken into consideration in today's globalized world. If all the presidents are in agreement on this I think we can show humanity this crisis will be resolved with faster than expected", he emphasized.

"We are talking about the G-20 because the G-8 (of industrialized economies) doesn't have any more reason to exist", added Lula da Silva who said the old global financial architecture controlled by big rich nations has been "rejected by history".

The Brazilian leader currently holds the chair of the G-20 and sat shoulder to shoulder with President Bush during the meeting.

"Emerging market countries were not the cause of this crisis, but they are amongst its worst affected victims," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the group.

"India is experiencing this negative impact. After growing at close to 9% per year for four years, our growth rate is expected to slow down" to between 7 percent and 7.5%, Singh said.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the summit was a productive start. What matters now are the follow-up actions, Zoellick.

"People are looking to leaders for a global, coordinated and fast response." In particular, he called for government spending programs to stimulate national economies, and said China had demonstrated leadership with its 580 billion USD stimulus package. "Further decisive actions will be needed," he said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao was under pressure at the weekend meeting to use China's 2 trillion USD in reserves to help expand an International Monetary Fund stability fund. Beijing has yet to respond directly to such suggestions but Hu was pressing Western leaders to give developing countries a bigger role in such global financial institutions, a measure that analysts say might be a condition for a Chinese contribution.

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said at a news conference that it would be up to the IMF most influential members, the United States and European countries, to determine whether developing countries would be given a greater say.

He added that countries can achieve influence in several ways, including greater voting rights and being added to the IMF board.

Mercopress

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