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Arroyo to US: Do something to end crisis

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 06:54:00 02/01/2009

Filed Under: Politics, World Financial Crisis, Economy and Business and Finance

MANILA, Philippines – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo urged the United States to “do something” to reverse the global recession, as she called on developed nations to give developing countries a “bigger” say in running the world economy.

“What we want is for America to do something because the last thing we want is for America to do nothing. You may be vague on what should be done, but the worst thing is for it not to do anything,” Arroyo said during a plenary session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland on Saturday afternoon (late evening in Manila).

“It is ironic that the developing countries now are doing better than the developed countries, and yet if they will not have a say in how to structure the world economy that’s really wrong. So we need to have the developing countries represented in a bigger way, they have something to share, how are they able to keep their countries resilient,” she said in the forum, which was broadcast live on the WEF website.

Arroyo called the US to task for the global recession when she was asked during the forum on “Rebooting the Global Economy” if a planned borrowing by the US this year from international lending institutions would ease out developing nations like the Philippines from the debt market.

The President said her government had enough funds for the rest of year, thanks to fiscal reforms in the past years, which she said described as “bitter medicine” that the country took ahead of the global downturn.

“We have a lot of liquidity in our Philippine banking system. In fact in our fiscal stimulus package, that we have, the private banks are going to be a very important part of it,” she said.

Pressed further during the forum if the rest of the world was paying the price for the credit crunch in the US, Arroyo said: “Of course, we know that America is by far the biggest single economy in the world, and we would have wished that this didn’t happen.

Breaking into a smile, she added: “But, Filipinos love America, and what we can say is that it’s so easy to have 20/20 vision on hindsight when all this easy money policy was doing, we know was very good for the world.”

“As I said we all didn’t want it to happen, very few saw it happening, so it’s not a time for blame-tossing, it’s a time for looking for the solution,” she said.

The President offered three proposals for the world economy to recover – “fundamental reforms” in global financial regulations, the resumption of the Doha round of talks of the World Trade Organization, and expanding the G7 or Group of seven finance ministers from industrialized nations to a G20 or a G30.

“We need to have represented in the coordinated policy-making of the world diverse kinds of economies, because if we don’t have these diverse economies represented on the table, then perspectives should be lost and new ideas will not be gained and furthermore,” she said.

From Switzerland, Arroyo will proceed to Milan, Italy, to check on Filipino workers there, then to Bahrain for an official visit. She is expected back in the country on February 5.

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Written by joelguinto

SunUTC2009-02-01T14:37:26+00:00UTC02bUTCSun, 01 Feb 2009 14:37:26 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm02

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