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Annan lauds China, India's progress

However, Annan added that further political, economic reforms are needed to "distribute the gains more evenly".

india Updated: Jun 14, 2006 13:31 IST

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has lauded the rapid economic progress made by India, China, Russia and Brazil but said further political, economic and other reforms are essential to "distribute the gains more evenly" and sustain the pace.

"The remarkable economic growth of Brazil, China, India and Russia has brought prosperity to many, and lifted millions more out of extreme poverty. Yet tremendous challenges remain. Economic gains have been unevenly distributed, and the ranks of the poor are still large," he said in a message delivered to the 10th St Petersburg International Forum in Russia.

The Forum is being attended by high-level policy makers, industrialists, bankers and representatives from various international organizations and financial institutions.

Ministers of Economic Affairs of Brazil, India, China and Russia are also attending the three-day event.

"Our challenge is to sustain the progress that has been achieved while addressing the remaining backlog of need. For this, further reforms (economic, political, legal, judicial and regulatory) are essential. We must clarify and institutionalise the rules underpinning investment and development, while increasing investments in health, education, training and research," he told the leaders.

Annan said that such an "ambitious agenda" demands the active participation of both people and the private sector, working together to achieve shared goals.

Annan said the trend is promising, adding "cooperation between civil society and governments is on the rise, environmentally sustainable practices are gaining ground, corporate social responsibility enjoys wider acceptance, and public-private partnerships are increasingly being employed to investment in critical sectors such as education and infrastructure."

The Secretary-General said that such developments are important not only to sustain economic growth, but also for the broader objective of defeating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek to slash a host of socio-economic ills by 2015.

"Developing countries should not be condemned, by the weight of tradition or their own poverty, to do what their predecessors have done. We cannot deny their need to industrialize, but this can be done in cleaner ways. And the developed countries have a responsibility to help by, for instance, building capacity and transferring technology and know-how."

Annan said that the Forum can not only contribute to dialogue on these issues but can also provide a basis for discussion by leaders of the Group of Eight (G-8) industrialised countries at next month's summit that will also be held in St. Petersburg.