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Consult China and India in Finance Crisis, Merkel Says

Asia should be involved in solving the world's current financial difficulties, said the German chancellor, while the World Bank president warned of a human crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao

Merkel advocated open trade without protectionism

Emerging economies such as China and India must be consulted in forging a solution to the world economic crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday, Nov. 20.

Speaking at the same conference in Frankfurt, World Bank President Robert Zoellick warned that more action was needed to prevent the world financial crisis from turning into a human crisis.

The conference, the 10th German World Bank Forum, was devoted to "The Asian Century" now beginning.

"It's important that rules apply to everyone, that there are no blank zones," Merkel said, referring to efforts to reform the world financial system. "That will only happen if Asia, and its big emerging economies such as India and China are involved."

Fair world trade without protectionism

Merkel added, "I can only hope that in this crisis we achieve more open trade, fair world trade, and that we don't collapse into protectionism."

World Bank President Robert Zoellick

Zoellick warned the finance crisis could lead to a human crisis

Zoellick told the conference, "We must remind ourselves that the poorest countries have faced the most serious difficulties as a result of the crisis."

He said the moves launched by the weekend summit of the world's 20 major economies in Washington for a reshaping of the international financial architecture had been encouraging.

"But we have to do more if we want to avoid a human crisis," the World Bank chief said.

With this in mind, he called on the G20, which includes the Group of Seven leading industrial nations as well as China, Russia, India, Saudi Arabia and Brazil, to be expanded to include more nations from Africa.

"It's worth looking into whether you add a representative or representatives from the poorer countries" to the G20, Zoellick said. "It is important that poorer nations come and speak for themselves," he said.

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