The global currency dispute, a worldwide financial safety net, reform of the International Monday Fund and development of poor countries will form the backbone of the G20 Summit in Seoul next week, President Lee Myung-bak said Monday. Lee was speaking in his biweekly radio address, aired across the country and posted on YouTube.
Talking about the currency dispute, Lee said he is "very happy that the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Gyeongju last month has laid the foundation for the success of the Seoul Summit." Lee attributed an accord reached there for member countries to refrain from artificially pushing down the value of their currencies to an understanding that international cooperation is vital if the world economy is to achieve balanced sustainable growth.
The president recalled that Korea learned an important lesson from the 1998-1999 financial crisis, when more than 20,000 companies went bankrupt and about 1 million people lost their jobs. "The world should cooperate in building a firm global financial safety net so as to prevent another crisis," Lee said.
He said the IMF must take account of the growing status of developing nations. Countries like Korea, China, India and Brazil "should be given a voice in line with their strength and scale," he said.
Turning to poor countries, he recalled the saying, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." That way, he said, the world will be able to establish "a fair international economic order and a fair global village."