Hu urges to help developing countries

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It is "imperative and incumbent" for the G20 to help developing countries achieve full development and narrow the development gap between the North and South, visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao said at the Fourth G20 Summit on Sunday.

Developing countries have been hit hard by the financial crisis and they find it a daunting task to overcome the difficulties caused by the crisis, Hu said in his speech at the summit.

The G20 is primarily composed of developed countries, emerging markets and developing nations with a relatively higher level of industrialization, Hu said, adding that the combined GDP of G20 members accounts for 85 percent of the world's total.

"However, we should not neglect the development aspirations of other developing countries, which take up over 85 percent of countries in the world," he said.

It was incumbent upon the G20 to provide stronger political drive, greater economic resources and better institutional guarantee for development, he added.

The president said the international financial crisis has made it more difficult to attain the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), noting that it would be an uphill battle to achieve the set objectives by 2015.

"We must take more credible actions to address the issue of development. We must secure development resources, improve development institutions and promote development cooperation to ensure that the UN MDGs will be met on schedule," he said.

Hu urged developed countries to honor in good faith their commitments on official development assistance, market opening, and debt reduction and cancellation.

He also called on the countries to scale up financial and technological support for developing countries and help them build stronger capacity for self development.

"The World Bank, the IMF and other international financial institutions should use their resources to help, on a priority basis, developing countries, the least developed countries in particular," he stressed.

Since the outbreak of the international financial crisis, China has provided assistance to developing countries through multiple means and channels, hu said.

China contributed 50 billion U.S. dollars to the IMF's resource increase with an explicit request that the resource be used, first and foremost, to help the least developed countries, he said.

The country signed bilateral currency swap agreements worth 650 billion RMB (96 billion U.S. dollars) with relevant countries and regions in a joint response to the financial crisis, he added.

China has established the China-ASEAN Investment Fund worthy of 10 billion dollars, provided 15 billion dollars of credit support to ASEAN countries, and actively engaged in and pushed forward East Asian financial cooperation focusing mainly on Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization and the Asian Bond Market Initiative, Hu noted.

Hu said his country has also provided 10 billion dollars of credit support to other member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, 10 billion dollars in concessional loans to African countries, and cancel the debts owed by heavily indebted poor countries and the least developed countries in Africa.

China will also phase in zero-tariff treatment to 95 percent of the products from the least developed African countries having diplomatic ties with China, Hu said.

"China will continue to offer assistance to other developing countries as its ability permits within the framework of South-South cooperation, and do its utmost to help other developing countries achieve development," said the president.

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