G20 agrees to invest in infrastructure in developing nations
"We will intensify our efforts to create a more conducive environment for development, including supporting infrastructure investment," said a 14-page declaration released at the end of the seventh summit of the Group of 20 developed and developing countries in this pacific ocean resort in Mexico.
The declaration said that it recognised the impact of the continuing crisis on developing countries, particularly low income countries. "The Los Cabos declaration fully reflects our initiative that investment on infrastructure in developing countries can play a major role in strengthening development and in stimulating global recovery," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a statement at the conclusion of the summit.
Singh while pushing for expansion of investment in infrastructure in developing countries has said it is of special significance. "Investment in infrastructure is necessary as means of stimulating global growth," he said at the plenary session of the summit of the G20, which accounts for 80 per cent of the global output.
"It lays the foundation for rapid growth in the longer term while providing an immediate stimulus for their economies and also for the global economy by providing a robust sources of demand," he said.
R Gopalan, Secretary in the Department of Economic affairs, said that infrastructure investment in developing countries has never in the forefront at the G20 as much it was at the seventh summit.
"It is significant that infrastructure requirement of developing countries was brought to the fore at the Los Cabos Summit, whether the investment is through finance or development channels. It is for the first time that it came up in a big way at the G20. India was successful in bringing all G20 countries onboard. All the countries have attached significance to the idea of giving priority to infrastructure development in developing countries as a way of stimulating growth," he said.
Meeting against the backdrop of the faltering world economy and the 17-nation Eurozone crisis, the communique said that all G20 members pledged to take necessary actions to strengthen global growth and restore confidence.
"Strong, sustainable and balanced growth remains the top priority of the G20, as it leads to higher job creation and increases the welfare of people across the world. We are committed to adopting all necessary short and medium term risks, enhance job creation and reduce unemployment. We will implement all our commitments in a timely manner and rigorously monitor their implementation," the declaration said.
Amid the contentious debate of the relationship between austerity and growth, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said at the G20 summit that financial markets, which normally favoured austerity, are beginning to recognise that austerity with no growth will not produce a return to a sustainable debt position.
Singh said that his overall assessment of the meeting is that there was general agreement that policy in all countries must shift to strengthening growth.