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G7 nations to agree joint fight against cyber attacks

A global cyber attack infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries on Friday.

business Updated: May 14, 2017 13:47 IST
cyber attack

(Reuters photo)

Financial leaders of seven leading world economies will pledge stronger cooperation against cyber crime on Saturday and not to use foreign exchange to gain competitive advantage, but stick to their cautious wording on trade, a draft communique showed.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Britain are meeting in the Italian city of Bari to discuss the world economy, combating terrorist funding, cyber security and taxes.

A draft communique of the meeting, to be published later on Saturday, said the seven countries would use all policy tools - fiscal, structural and monetary - to boost economic growth.

The draft, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, also said the G7 financial leaders would strengthen cooperation to counter cyber threats such as a global online attack which infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries on Friday.

The statement said fiscal policy should be used to help job creation while keeping public debt on a sustainable path and monetary policy should help economic activity without fuelling strong inflation.

“We reaffirm our existing G7 exchange rate commitments to market-determined exchange rates and to consult closely in regard to actions in foreign exchange markets,” the draft said.

“We reaffirm our fiscal and monetary policies have been and will remain oriented towards meeting our respective domestic policy objectives, using domestic instruments and we will not target exchange rates for competitive purposes,” the draft said, underlining the importance of refraining from competitive devaluations.

But unlike a G7 leaders’ communique of 2016, the financial leaders in Bari did not endorse free trade and reject protectionism, reflecting pressure from the United States where President Donald Trump has signalled his scepticism about free trade deals.

The G7 financial leaders in Bari were set to repeat a line agreed by the broader Group of 20 in March which said: “We are working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies.”