Finance ministers from the Group of Eight industrialised nations urged oil-producing nations today to boost output to help stabilise record-high oil and food prices, calling the situation a serious threat to global economic growth.
The world economy faces uncertainty and inflationary pressures because of the recent rise in prices, the G-8 ministers said in a joint statement after two days of talks in Osaka, western Japan.
US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the spike in oil prices to new heights was a problem of supply and demand, and not caused by speculators.
"This is not something that lends itself to short-term solutions," he told reporters after the meeting ended.
Paulson urged countries to let markets work, not rely on subsidies, and pressed oil-producing countries to allow more investment in oil exploration and production.
Paulson and the other G-8 ministers vowed to work together to secure stability and growth, and called for aid to address a looming food crisis in developing nations.
"Elevated commodity prices, especially of oil and food, pose a serious challenge to stable growth worldwide," the statement said
The agenda for the talks, which began on friday, spanned a range of issues, including troubled financial markets and helping developing nations fight global warming.