G-7 Summit Economic Communique

Presidents & Prime Ministers, July-August 1996 | Go to article overview

G-7 Summit Economic Communique


We, the Heads of State and Government of seven major industrialized democracies and the President of the European Commission, have met in Lyon for our 22nd annual Summit. Our discussions have taken place within the framework of a reflection on benefits and challenges posed by increasing economic globalization.

Economic growth and progress in today's interdependent world is bound up with the process of globalization. Globalization provides great opportunities for the future, not only for our countries, but for all others too. Its many positive aspects include an unprecedented expansion of investment and trade; the opening up to international trade of the world's most populous regions and opportunities for more developing countries to improve their standards of living; the increasingly rapid dissemination of information, technological innovation and the proliferation of skilled jobs. These characteristics of globalization have led to a considerable expansion of wealth and prosperity in the world. Hence, we are convinced that the process of globalization is a source of hope for the future. History shows that rising living standards depend crucially on reaping the gains from trade, international investment and technical progress.

Globalization also poses challenges to societies and economies. Its benefits will not materialize unless countries adjust to increased competition. In the poorer countries, it may accentuate, inequality and certain parts of the world could become marginalized. The adjustment needed is, however, imposing rapid and sometimes painful restructuring, whose effects, in some of our countries, can temporarily exacerbate the employment situation. Globalization of the financial markets can generate new risks of instability, which requires all countries to pursue sound economic policies and structural reform.

Our countries have made a decisive contribution to the progress of liberalization and globalization. We must do our best to ensure that this process fully responds to the hopes it has aroused and that globalization serves the interest of people, their jobs and their quality of life. The potential benefits of the process for people must be translated into real opportunities in our own societies and in the poorer countries of the world. In an increasingly interdependent world we must all recognize that we have an interest in spreading the benefits of economic growth as widely as possible and in diminishing the risk either of excluding individuals or groups in our own economies or of excluding certain countries or regions from the benefits of globalization.

This requires increased international cooperation. The adaptation of our international institutional structures; liberalization of markets, fair rules and their extension to new players; the capacity to respond to crises of varying scale and nature, as well as a readiness to support the efforts of those countries striving to escape from the miseries of economic underdevelopment will be necessary for future progress. We call upon other countries with the financial capacity and a stake in the international trade and monetary system to join us in these efforts so as to share the responsibilities and the burdens fairly among ourselves and with others. We will thus be able to make a success of globalization for the benefit of all.

Economic and Monetary Cooperation

Growing international economic interdependence unquestionably holds out new opportunities for the entire global community. At the same time, it adds to our collective responsibilities and the need for more effective cooperation among our countries to face new challenges.

Since we met in Halifax, economic developments have been on the whole positive and disparities of economic performance among us have been narrowing. Canada and United States continue to enjoy sustained non-inflationary growth. In Japan, the recovery is gathering strength. …

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