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Sunday, March 15, 2009

2009 ‘very dangerous’ for economy: WB chief

The daily star

World Bank president Robert Zoellick said Friday that 2009 was turning into "a very dangerous year" for the economy but warned G20 members against protectionist policies to fight the downturn.

"2009 is shaping up to be a very dangerous year," he told reporters ahead of Saturday's G20 finance ministers meeting on how best to tackle the worst economic slowdown in decades.

"I believe it will be a positive sign if the G20 supports extended IMF resources, condemns protectionism and supports practical solutions," Zoellick said.

The G20 includes the Group of Seven industrialised countries -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States -- the European Union and leading developing nations including Brazil, China and India.

Finance ministers and central bank leaders from the United States and Europe go into Saturday's meeting deeply divided on whether stimulus packages or tighter regulation of the finance sector should be the way forward.

Saturday's gathering in Horsham, near London, is expected to lay the groundwork for a G20 heads of state summit on April 2.

“If the leaders feel they are running out of constructive tools, they might start to point fingers and take protectionist and isolationist actions and those are the negative spiral of events you saw in the (19)30s," Zoellick added on Friday.



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