March 22, 2011 / 8:32 AM / in 8 years

UPDATE 1-China says French president to attend monetary seminar

(Adds quotes, details)

BEIJING, March 22 (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to attend a G20 seminar on reshaping the global monetary system later this month in Nanjing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

“It’s my understanding that President Sarkozy will attend this seminar, and will meet Chinese leaders,” ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular news briefing.

“This seminar is an informal, academic one,” Jiang said.

Paris has placed discussion of how to reform the international monetary system at the centre of its year-long presidency of the G20, and China’s position will be key for how much progress France can make on its goals.

China’s Foreign Ministry said last week that China’s exchange rate would not be a topic for discussion in Nanjing.

The gathering in the eastern Chinese city on March 31 is expected to include academics, economists, central bankers and finance ministers.

France will also send Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and central bank Governor Christian Noyer to the one-day meeting, French officials say.

Paris is still liaising with G20 partners over how many ministers and central bankers from other countries will attend the seminar.

As G20 chair, France is also seeking measures to address volatility in commodity prices and to complete a framework for tackling global economic imbalances, such as China’s large current account surplus and Washington’s big fiscal deficit.

At a G20 summit in Paris last month, China was reluctant to include exchange rates and currency reserves in a list of indicators to be used to gauge imbalances, making a hard-fought compromise necessary for finance ministers to eventually reach a deal. (Reporting by Chris Buckley; Writing by Ben Blanchard)

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