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Power shift to new economies, says PM

Manmohan Singh has said that the meeting of heads of state of G-20 nations in Washington DC was “a clear indication that the balance of power is shifting in favour of emerging economies." Gautam Chikermane reports.

business Updated: Nov 17, 2008 01:44 IST
Gautam Chikermane

The meeting of heads of state of G-20 nations at the ‘Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy’ in Washington DC was “a clear indication that the balance of power is shifting in favour of emerging economies”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said.

While India had been invited earlier to G8 discussions informally, “our views were not really taken into account. This is for the first time that there was genuine dialogue between developed countries and major emerging countries,” Singh told reporters soon after leaving Washington.

It didn’t begin that way, he said. “When Bush spoke to me about this idea, I said that if preparation was inadequate, it would prove counter-productive.” Europe and the US may not agree, emerging countries and developed nations may differ, he said.

“There was no attempt to score partisan points,” he said. “The meeting could be described as a very successful affair.”

In Washington, outgoing US President George Bush agreed. “I thought this was a very successful summit,” he said, reminding reporters that “they’re going to meet again. I keep saying ‘they’ because some of you may not have heard yet, but I am retiring”.

The group, Singh said, realised that developing countries were going to be the worst sufferers because of the market crisis for no fault of theirs. “The growth of exports was going down, the flow of capital and direct investment was slowing down,” he said. “There were attempts on the part of the foreign capital to fly out, putting pressure on the exchange rate of a number of developing countries.”

With V Krishna in Washington