"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] Berlin Communiqué - G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

[Place] Berlin
[Date] December 16, 1999
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the G-20 held their inaugural meeting on December 15-16, 1999 in Berlin, Germany. The meeting was chaired by Canada's Finance Minister, Paul Martin, and hosted by German Finance Minister Hans Eichel. (A list of participants follows).

2. The G-20 was established to provide a new mechanism for informal dialogue in the framework of the Bretton Woods institutional system, to broaden the discussions on key economic and financial policy issues among systemically significant economies and promote co-operation to achieve stable and sustainable world economic growth that benefits all.

3. Ministers and Governors welcomed the improvement in global economic conditions. They reaffirmed the importance of continued progress by the WTO toward multilateral liberalization of trade in goods and services that would bring broad-based benefits to the global economy.

4. Ministers and Governors at this inaugural meeting discussed the role and objectives of the G-20, and ways to address the main vulnerabilities currently facing their respective economies and the global financial system. They recognized that sound national economic and financial policies are central to building an international financial system that is less prone to crises. They noted the importance of strengthening national balance sheets to help cushion against unexpected shocks. They encouraged steps to strengthen sovereign debt management, and greater attention to the impact of various government policies on the borrowing decisions of private firms. They recognized that unsustainable exchange rate regimes are a critical source of vulnerability, and that a consistent exchange rate and monetary policy is essential. They discussed a range of possible domestic policy responses to the challenges of globalization, and exchanged views on the role of the international community in helping to reduce vulnerability to crises.

5. They welcomed the important work that has been done by the Bretton Woods institutions and other bodies toward the establishment of international codes and standards in key areas, including transparency, data dissemination, and financial sector policy. They agreed that the more widespread implementation of such codes and standards would contribute to more prosperous domestic economies and a more stable international financial system. To demonstrate leadership in this area, Ministers and Governors agreed to undertake the completion of Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes ("Transparency Reports") and Financial Sector Assessments, within the context of continuing efforts by the IMF and World Bank to improve these mechanisms. This commitment will help mobilize support for measures to strengthen domestic capacity, policies and institutions.

6. Members of the G-20 asked their Deputies to consider existing work in other fora (including the Financial Stability Forum) and to examine further ways to reduce vulnerabilities to crises. Deputies will report on their progress at the time of the next meeting of G-20 Finance Ministers and Governors, to be held in Canada in autumn 2000.

Annex: List of Participants

Argentina Russia

Australia Saudi Arabia

Brazil South Africa

Canada Turkey

China United Kingdom

France United States of America

Germany Presidency of the European Union

India President of the European Central Bank

Indonesia Managing Director of the IMF

Italy President of the World Bank

Japan Chair of the Development Committee

Korea Chair of the International Monetary and Financial Committee