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G20 tees off into post recessionary economic outlook

The world's economy is in better shape than it was, but it’s still too soon to give it the all clear. That was the assessment of the G-20 Finance Ministers' Meeting over the weekend.

It was outside the Scottish coastal town of St Andrews that finance ministers hoped to bring about a sea-change in the way international economic policy is made.

At the top of the agenda was putting into place a mechanism for the world’s key economies to assess each other, in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund.

Agreement was reached on that, but, according to Russian Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin, the key issue concerning to what extent countries will participate still hangs in the balance.

“It is important that the US and China will participate in these discussions and general assessments. The most important question is whether the countries will be ready to respond to those assessments and recommendations.”

And although basic agreements were reached, Pavel Pikuyev, an analyst at Trust Bank, says the meeting lacked the urgency of its predecessors.

“We will either see a slow but persistent recovery in the frame of the current economic system or we’ll see a huge downturn and this way it will be global circumstances, global economy which will make us to make decision. But as of now, it seems that the economy is turning back to growth.”

The hoped-for agreement on financing the fight against climate changed didn’t come. Countries recognized that there was a need to create a fund for new technologies to power greener economies, but Kudrin added they couldn’t agree on the role developing nations should play.

“What Russia might need is access to technologies but the modernization of the economy we will do it ourselves. It is our CIS neighbors that will need help and we will ensure that they get it.”

One thing G20 nations do agree on is it’s not yet time to stop the economic stimulus packages. Russia will continue to use state money to fuel growth and keep the jobless rate down.

The goal of this meeting was to implement the strategies agreed on in Pittsburg to reform the global economy so another crisis is prevented. But despite warnings against complacency from various leaders ahead of the gathering, one is left with the feeling that finance ministers are putting the ball along the fairway.