November 17, 2008 / 3:35 PM / 11 years ago

Brazil's Lula hails G20 meeting as decisive change

BRASILIA, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Monday the weekend’s G20 summit was an “extremely decisive step” toward increasing the clout of developing countries in international decision-making.

The Washington meeting of the world’s 20 largest economies to respond to the global financial crisis agreed to a place for emerging countries on the Financial Stability Forum, where top bank regulators evaluate banking and market risk.

It also opened the door to more seats for developing countries at the IMF and World Bank.

“The meeting is important because it changes the logic of policy decisions,” Lula said in his weekly radio address. “It’s no longer the G8, now the G20 has an important role.”

The changes could herald a major shift in the global balance of economic power, but some analysts criticized the meeting for a lack of concrete action and financial markets fell on Monday amid disappointment over the outcome.

Lula welcomed the G20’s backing of more regulation of the financial system including a review of accountancy standards, corporate pay, bankruptcy rules, and credit rating agencies.

“The measures we took unanimously were extremely important for us to be able to control the financial system and avoid it being used as a casino,” Lula said.

The meeting strengthened a spirit of multilateralism on economic decision-making, he said, adding: “Finally, all the countries agreed that we need to make collective decisions to avoid policies taken by one country hurting another.”

He said the aim of the measures announced by the G20 after the meeting was to boost liquidity and confidence in financial markets to avoid recession spreading to more countries.

“We don’t want unemployment to arrive in Latin America and Brazil, most of all because our economy is in much better shape than theirs (Western countries),” he said.

The G20 meeting also agreed to work for a breakthrough in the long-running Doha round of world trade talks by the end of the year. Lula’s government, which has taken a lead role representing the developing world in the talks, has pushed hard for a resumption of the process. (Reporting by Ana Nicolaci da Costa; editing by Stuart Grudgings and David Storey)

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