"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] The Bonn Economic Declaration: Towards Sustained Growth and Higher Employment

[Place] Bonn
[Date] May 4, 1985
[Source] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. Conscious of the responsibility which we bear, together with other Governments, for the future of the world economy and the preservation of natural resources, we, the Heads of State or Government of seven major industrial nations and the President of the Commission of the European Communities, meeting in Bonn from 2 to 4 May 1985, have discussed the economic outlook, problems, and prospects for our countries and the world.

2. World economic conditions are better than they have been for a considerable time. Since we last met, further progress has been achieved in bringing down inflation and strengthening the basis for growth. The recovery in the industrial countries has begun to spread to the developing world. The debt problems of developing countries, though far from solved, are being flexibly and effectively addressed.

3. Nevertheless, our countries still face important challenges. Above all, we need:

- to strengthen the ability of our economies to respond to new developments;

- to increase job opportunities;

- to reduce social inequalities;

- to correct persistent economic imbalances;

- to halt protectionism; and

- to improve the stability of the world monetary system.

4. Our discussions of these challenges have led us to the following conclusions:

(a) The best contribution we can make to a lasting new prosperity in which all nations can share is unremittingly to pursue, individually in our own countries and co-operatively together, policies conducive to sustained growth and higher employment.

(b) The prosperity of developed and developing countries has become increasingly linked. We will continue to work with the developing countries in a spirit of true partnership.

(c) Open multilateral trade is essential to global prosperity and we urge an early and substantial reduction of barriers to trade.

(d) We seek also to make the functioning of the world monetary system more stable and more effective.

(e) Economic progress and the preservation of the natural environment are necessary and mutually supportive goals. Effective environmental protection is a central element in our national and international policies.

I. Growth and Employment

5. In order to sustain non-inflationary growth and higher employment, we have agreed that:

- We will consolidate and enhance the progress made in bringing down inflation.

- We will follow prudent, and where necessary strengthened monetary and budgetary policies with a view to stable prices, lower interest rates and more productive investment. Each of our countries will exercise firm control over public spending in order to reduce budget deficits, when excessive, and, where necessary, the share of public spending in Gross National Product.

- We will work to remove obstacles to growth and encourage initiative and enterprise so as to release the creative energies of our peoples, while maintaining appropriate social policies for those in need.

- We will promote greater adaptability and responsiveness in all markets, particularly the labour market.

- We will encourage training to improve occupational skills, particularly for the young.

- We will exploit to the full the opportunities for prosperity and the creation of permanent jobs, provided by economic change and technological progress.

6. Building on these common principles, each of us has indicated the specific priorities for national policies.

- The President of the United States considers it essential to achieve a rapid and appreciable cut in public expenditures and thus a substantial reduction in the budget deficit. He stresses also the need for further deregulation and for a reform of the tax system aimed at encouraging the efficient use of resources and stimulating new saving and investment.

- The President of the French Republic stresses the need to continue bringing down inflation, to modernize the means of production and to improve employment, to control public spending and to combat social inequality. In that context he attaches high priority to education, research and investment in high technologies with a view to sustained growth.

- The Government of the United Kingdom will continue to work to reduce inflation and to create the conditions for sustained growth. It will continue to keep public spending under strict control and maintain monetary discipline. It will promote the development of small and medium-sized businesses and advanced technological industries, and encourage initiative and enterprise and the creation of new job opportunities.

- The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany attaches high priority to strengthening the flexibility and vigour of the economy in order to achieve a lasting improvement in growth and to create new jobs. Small and medium-sized businesses should be especially encouraged as well as high technologies. It will continue to reduce the claims of the public sector on the economy, the budget deficit and the burden of taxation.

- The Government of Japan considers it essential to persevere with its policy of budgetary discipline and strengthening market functions, particularly with a view to fostering investment. It intends to achieve further progress in deregulating financial markets, promoting the international role of the Yen, facilitating access to markets and encouraging growth in imports.

- The Italian Government gives priority to the further reduction of inflation and of the public deficit, while sustaining growth and investment. Particular emphasis will be put on incentives to create small and medium-sized industries, especially in the field of high technology, and to promote employment, especially for young people.

- The Government of Canada will focus on promoting investment and creating jobs in the private sector, on removing obstacles to sustained non-inflationary growth, on reducing the budget deficit and on restraining government expenditure. It will encourage entrepreneurial activities, with emphasis on the small and medium-sized business sectors.

- The Commission of the European Communities attaches high priority to completing a genuine internal market without barriers, which will eliminate rigidities and generate fresh economic growth on a Community-wide scale. A strengthened European Monetary System and closer economic convergence will further serve this end.

By pursuing these policies we will not only address our domestic problems, but at the same time contribute to an enduring growth of the world economy and a more balanced expansion of international trade.

II. Relations with Developing Countries

7. Sustained growth in world trade, lower interest rates, open markets and continued financing in amounts and on terms appropriate to each individual case are essential to enable developing countries to achieve sound growth and overcome their economic and financial difficulties. Flows of resources, including official development assistance, should be maintained and, wherever possible, increased, especially to the poorer countries. In particular, more staple long-term finance, such as direct investment from industrial countries, should be encouraged. We welcome longer-term debt restructuring agreements between debtor countries and commercial banks. We continue to stand ready, where appropriate, to negotiate further multi-year reschedulings of debts to governments and government agencies.

8. We continue to encourage the constructive dialogue with the developing countries in the existing international institutions with a view to promoting their economic development and thereby their social and political stability. We emphasize the crucial role of, and the improved co-operation between, the international Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in supporting policies by debtor countries necessary to strengthen the confidence of domestic and foreign creditors and investors, to mobilize domestic savings and to ensure efficient use of resources and sound long-term development. We agree to work to ensure that these institutions are equipped with the necessary resources and instruments, and we stand ready to discuss an increase in the resources available to the World Bank which may be necessary in the coming years. We remain concerned over the particular problems facing a number of developing countries that are neither among the poorest nor foremast among the group of major debtors. We agree that consideration should be given to easing the financial constraints of these countries on a case-by-case basis.

9. We are deeply concerned about the plight of African peoples who are suffering from famine and drought. We welcome the positive response from our citizens and from private organizations, as well as the substantial assistance provided by the governments of many countries and the establishment by the World Bank of the Special Facility for Subsahara Africa. We shall continue to supply emergency food aid. In addition, we shall intensify our co-operation with African countries to help them develop their economic potential and a long-term food strategy, based on their own agricultural programmes. We are prepared to promote increases in food production by supplying agricultural inputs such as seed, pesticides and fertilizers, within the framework of agricultural development projects. We agree upon the need to improve the existing early warning systems and improve transportation arrangements. Political obstacles in the countries concerned should not be allowed to stand in the way of the delivery of food to the hungry. We emphasize the need to examine the establishment of a research network on dry zone grains. We shall strengthen our co-operation with African countries in fighting against desertification. Continued efforts are needed by all countries in a position to contribute to any or all of this work. We call upon the Soviet Union and other Communist countries to assume their responsibilities in this regard. We have set up an expert group to prepare proposals for follow-up-measures to be reported to Foreign Ministers by September 1985.

III. Multilateral Trading System and International Monetary System

10. Protectionism does not solve problems; it creates them. Further tangible progress in relaxing and dismantling existing trade restrictions is essential. We need new initiatives for strengthening the open multilateral trading system. We strongly endorse the agreement reached by the OECD Ministerial Council that a new GATT round should begin as soon as possible. Most of us think that this should be in 1986. We agree that it would be useful that a preparatory meeting of senior officials should take place in the GATT before the end of the summer to reach a broad consensus on subject matter and modalities for such negotiations. We also agree that active participation of a significant number of developed and developing countries in such negotiations is essential. We are looking to a balanced package for negotiation.

11. It is also essential to improve the functioning of the international monetary system. We take note that the Finance Ministers of the Group of Ten, at their meeting in Tokyo in June, intend to complete their current work on ways to improve the functioning of the monetary system and to put forward proposals, to be discussed at the next meeting of the Interim Committee of the International Monetary Fund in Seoul in October, with a view to making the international monetary system more stable and more effective.

IV. Environmental Policies

12. New approaches and strengthened international co-operation are essential to anticipate and prevent damage to the environment, which knows no national frontiers. We shall co-operate in order to solve pressing environmental problems such as acid deposition and air pollution from motor vehicles and all other significant sources. We shall also address other concerns such as climatic change, the protection of the ozone layer and the management of toxic chemicals and hazardous wastes. The protection of soils, fresh water and the sea, in particular of regional seas, must be strengthened.

13. We shall harness both the mechanisms of governmental vigilance and the disciplines of the market to solve environmental problems. We shall develop and apply the "polluter pays" principle more widely. Science and technology must contribute to reconciling environmental protection and economic growth.

14. Improved and internationally harmonized techniques of environmental measurement are essential. We invite the environmental experts of the Technology, Growth and Employment Working Group to consult with the appropriate international bodies about the most efficient ways for achieving progress in this field.

15. We welcome the contribution made by the Environment Ministers to closer international co-operation on environmental concerns. We shall focus our co-operation within existing international bodies, especially the OECD. We shall work with developing countries for the avoidance of environmental damage and disasters world-wide.

V. Co-operation in Science and Technology

16. We are convinced that international co-operation in research and technology in major projects should be enhanced to make maximum use of our scientific potential. We recognize that such projects require appropriately shared participation and responsibility as well as adequate rules concerning access to the results achieved, the transfer of technology and the use of technologies involved.

17. We welcome the positive responses of the Member States of the European Space Agency (ESA), Canada and Japan to the invitation of the President of the United States to co-operate in the United States Manned Space Station Programme on the basis of a genuine partnership and a fair and appropriate exchange of information, experience and technologies. Discussions on intergovernmental co-operation in development and utilization of permanently manned space stations will begin promptly. We also welcome the conclusions of the ESA Council on the need for Europe to maintain and expand its autonomous capability in space activity, and on the long-term European Space Plan and its objectives.

18. We welcome the report from the Technology, Growth and Employment Working Group on the work done in the eighteen areas of co-operation and invite the Group to complete its review by the end of the year. We welcome the positive contribution which the Ministerial Conference on "Technological Development and Employment" held in Venice has made towards wider acceptance of the role of technological change in promoting growth and employment. We also welcome the results of the Rambouillet Conference on Bioethics and thank the Federal Republic of Germany for its willingness to host symposium on neurobiology in 1986.

19. We have agreed to meet again next year and have accepted the Japanese Prime Minister's invitation to meet in Japan.