January 13, 2010 / 4:47 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-US's Geithner to attend Feb G7 meeting in Canada

(Adds details on calls for currency discussions)

WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will travel to northern Canada to attend a Feb. 5-6 meeting of the Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank governors, the Treasury said on Wednesday.

Officials will discuss a range of issues during the meeting in the Arctic city of Iqaluit, Nunavut, on Baffin Island, including the world economic outlook, financial reform, trade and development, the Treasury said in a statement.

The G7 ministers also will discuss how their countries can support implementation of a Group of 20 framework aimed at fostering more sustainable and balanced global growth, the Treasury said.

The Treasury statement did not specifically mention discussions about currencies and said additional details regarding Geithner’s schedule at the meetings would be made available in coming weeks.

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Monday that he expected currency disorder to be discussed at G7, G8 and G20 meetings that Canada will host or chair this year. He called for “more movement” in some Asian currencies.

Western countries with free-floating currencies have long complained that China’s yuan is kept artificially low, giving China an unfair export advantage and hindering more balanced global growth. Geithner has urged China to shift its economy to boost domestic demand and rely less on exports.

But China, France and Japan also have expressed concerns recently about weakness in the U.S. dollar.

The G7 grouping is transitioning to a new role as global leaders have put more emphasis on the G20, which includes emerging global powers such as China, India, and Brazil, as their policy forum of choice.

Flaherty has said the February meeting will return the 34-year-old G7 grouping to its roots “with a more frank and focused dialogue.” He said in November there would be less focus on communiques and accords, and more on “constructive dialogue and actions to strengthen the global economy.” (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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