Growth and jobs must be top priority: Obama
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Growth and jobs must be top priority: Obama

Last Updated: Sunday, May 20, 2012, 09:46
 
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Growth and jobs must be top priority: Obama
Washington: After their two-day meeting in Camp David, leaders of the G-8 countries have agreed that growth and jobs must be their "top priority" and noted a stable, growing European economy is in everybody's best interests, the host US President Barack Obama has said.

"As all the leaders here today agreed, growth and jobs must be our top priority. A stable, growing European economy is in everybody’s best interests -- including America's," Obama said Saturday after the end of the Camp David Summit.

G-8, as it is called is the exclusive group of top eight economic nations of the world powers. It is made up of the leaders of the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Russia.

"Europe is our largest economic partner. Put simply, if a company is forced to cut back in Paris or Madrid, that might mean less business for manufacturers in Pittsburgh or Milwaukee. And that might mean a tougher time for families and communities that depend on that business," he said.

"Even as we've confronted our own economic challenges over the past few years, we've collaborated closely with our European allies and partners as they've confronted theirs," Obama said.

The US President said he discussed with other leaders the ways for promoting growth and job creation while still carrying out reforms necessary to stabilise and strengthen their economies for the future.

Observing that the Europe's situation is more complicated than that of the US, Obama said Europe has got a political and economic crisis facing Greece, slow growth and very high unemployment in several countries.

"And what's more, when they want to decide on a way to move forward, there are 17 countries in the Eurozone that need to come to an agreement. We recognise that and we respect that," he said.

The direction the debate has taken recently should give confidence, he said, adding that the Europe has taken significant steps to manage the crisis. Individual countries and the European Union as a whole have engaged in significant reforms that will increase the prospects of long-term growth, Obama said.

"There's now an emerging consensus that more must be done to promote growth and job creation right now in the context of these fiscal and structural reforms. That consensus for progress was strengthened here at Camp David," he said.

"Today we agreed that we must take steps to boost confidence and to promote growth and demand while getting our fiscal houses in order. We agreed upon the importance of a strong and cohesive Eurozone, and affirmed our interest in Greece staying in the Eurozone while respecting its commitments," Obama said.

"Of course, we also recognised the painful sacrifices that the Greek people are making at this difficult time, and I know that my European colleagues will carry forward these discussions as they prepare for meetings next week," he said.

Obama said the leaders here understand the stakes and are aware of the magnitude of the choices they have to make and the enormous political, economic, and social costs if they don’t.

"In addition to our G8 meeting, it was -- I was able to talk to them individually over the last two days and I reaffirmed that Europe has the capacity to meet its challenges, and America is not only confident in their ability to meet their challenges, but we are supportive of their efforts," he said.

In their Camp David declaration, the G-8 leaders commit to take all necessary steps to strengthen and reinvigorate their economies and combat financial stresses.

"We welcome the ongoing discussion in Europe on how to generate growth, while maintaining a firm commitment to implement fiscal consolidation to be assessed on a structural basis."

The leaders, the declaration noted, also agreed on the importance of a strong and cohesive Eurozone for global stability and recovery, and affirmed their interest in Greece remaining in the Eurozone while respecting its commitments.

"We all have an interest in the success of specific measures to strengthen the resilience of the Eurozone and growth in Europe. We support Euro Area Leaders' resolve to address the strains in the Eurozone in a credible and timely manner and in a manner that fosters confidence, stability and growth," the declaration said.

"To raise productivity and growth potential in our economies, we support structural reforms, and investments in education and in modern infrastructure, as appropriate," it said.

Investment initiatives can be financed using a range of mechanisms, including leveraging the private sector, it said.

"Sound financial measures, to which we are committed, should build stronger systems over time while not choking off near-term credit growth. We commit to promote investment to underpin demand, including support for small businesses and public-private partnerships," the declaration added.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, May 20, 2012, 09:46


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