Merkel Wants Dialogue with Emerging Powers

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that Germany would seek to remove exchange rate imbalances, boost hedge fund transparency and launch a new dialogue with emerging powers during its presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised nations.

In a speech to world business leaders at the Swiss ski resort of Davos, Merkel also said she saw chances that the Doha round of world trade talks could succeed and urged all sides to
be flexible.

"The chances of success are there, without a doubt," she said. "All must be ready to show flexibility. The responsibility for success sits on many shoulders."

Germany took over the dual presidencies of the European Union and the G8 this month and Merkel's speech in Davos was billed as one of the highlights of the annual conference.

She focused on the challenges of globalisation, noting that the rise of new powers like Brazil, China and India should be seen as both a challenge and an opportunity.

Merkel vowed to forge "new forms of dialogue" with these countries at a G8 summit that she will host in the Baltic sea resort of Heiligendamm in June.

In addition to the G8 countries -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and Russia -- Germany has invited leaders from Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South
Africa to the summit.

"The dialogue should start there and then continue in other international organisations," Merkel said.

While stressing the importance of a global trade deal, Merkel also said it was important to boost economic ties between the European Union and the United States, saying that goal did not run counter to the pursuit of a broader trade agreement.

She said talks to cut regulations and harmonise market structures on both sides of the Atlantic would take place at an EU-USA summit planned for April 30 in Washington.

Energy and Climate Change

Merkel also touched on the issue of energy security and climate change.

She said she supported an EU goal to reduce CO2 emissions in the bloc by 30% by 2020, but only if other big polluting nations in the world made similar pledges.

She said Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Merkel visited in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Sunday, was aware of the need for better dialogue on energy supply issues.

Russia closed off a pipeline supplying oil to Europe earlier this month amid a pricing dispute with Belarus, spreading concerns in the EU about the reliability of Russian energy.

Merkel has vowed to press Putin to include energy delivery guarantees in a new cooperation pact with the EU, which Germany hopes to begin negotiating soon.

"The president made clear that Russia is interested in written, market-oriented rules in the energy area," Merkel said.