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Finance ministers and central bank governors from the US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Britain met in the Italian city of Bari.
Finance ministers and central bank governors from the US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Britain met in the Italian city of Bari.

G7 Financial Leaders Vow More Cyber Cooperation

A huge cyberextortion attack infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries on Friday that locked up computers and held users’ files for ransom

G7 Financial Leaders Vow More Cyber Cooperation

Financial leaders of seven leading world economies pledged stronger cooperation against cyber crime on Saturday and not to use foreign exchange to gain competitive advantage, but stuck to their cautious wording on trade, their final communique showed.
Finance ministers and central bank governors from the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Britain met in the Italian city of Bari to discuss the world economy, combating terrorist funding, cyber security and taxes, Reuters reported.
The final communiqué of the meeting said the seven countries would use all policy tools—fiscal, structural and monetary—to boost economic growth.
It also said the G7 financial leaders would strengthen cooperation to counter cyber threats such as a global online attack which infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries on Friday.
The statement said fiscal policy should be used to help job creation while keeping public debt on a sustainable path and monetary policy should help economic activity without fuelling strong inflation.            

“We reaffirm our existing G7 exchange rate commitments to market-determined exchange rates and to consult closely in regard to actions in foreign exchange markets,” it said.
“We reaffirm our fiscal and monetary policies have been and will remain oriented towards meeting our respective domestic policy objectives, using domestic instruments and we will not target exchange rates for competitive purposes,” it said, underlining the importance of refraining from competitive devaluations.

 Free Trade Deals
But unlike a G7 leaders’ communiqué of 2016, the Bari meeting did not endorse free trade and reject protectionism, reflecting pressure from the United States where President Donald Trump has signaled his skepticism about free trade deals.
The G7 financial leaders repeated a line agreed by the broader Group of 20 in March which said: “We are working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies.”
As a global cyber attack infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries on Friday, the G7 financial leaders said:
“We recognize that cyber incidents represent a growing threat for our economies and that appropriate economy-wide policy responses are needed.”
They called for common shared practices to spot quickly any vulnerabilities in the world’s financial system and stressed the importance of effective measures to assess cyber security among individual financial firms and at sector level.
The communique said: “We will strive to reduce excessive global imbalances and in a way that supports global growth. We are working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies.”
While the commitment is weaker than the language in last year’s G20 statement to avoid protectionism in all its forms, its inclusion comes despite talks on trade being left off the official agenda.
 US Told Not to Go Alone
The United States has been told by all the other Group of Seven economies that it must not turn its back on international cooperation on global economic policy, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Saturday, DNA reported.
G7 members have said they want a better sense of the plans of US President Donald Trump, who has threatened to upset the international consensus of recent decades on issues such as trade and rules for the financial services industry.
“All the six others ... said explicitly, and sometimes very directly, to the representatives of the US administration that it is absolutely necessary to continue with the same spirit of international cooperation,” Sapin told reporters at the end of the G7 meeting in southern Italy.

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