LAUSANNE: The International Monetary Fund has praised Malaysia, Brazil and Mexico for their financial management and reform of their financial institutions, said Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
We have recapitalised our banks, made them more transparent, dealt with non-performing loans and generally we have improved the business climate in Malaysia, the Prime Minister said.
Also, the informal dialogue between the Group of Eight and leaders from the Third World on the eve of the G8 summit has been described as a breakthrough and a step in the right direction in getting the interest of the South to be heard by the North.
Dr Mahathir viewed the effort by host France to hold the dialogue as opening the doors for other G8 members to give their assurance to have the same format when they hold future summits.
I have stressed the importance of this practice. This is certainly more than what we have expected. I think it is something that is going in the right direction.
It looks like President (George) Bush who is chairing the next summit has given the assurance that he will follow the same format, he told Malaysian media here after attending the one-day dialogue in Evian, France on Sunday.
Dr Mahathir said for many years countries in the South had asked for a dialogue with the exclusive grouping of developed nations but they had refused completely.
The most they had accepted was a memorandum from the Non-Aligned Movement. This is the first time they have called quite a number of developing countries.
Dr Mahathir was invited by French President Jacques Chirac, who is the G8 chairman, in his capacity as Prime Minister of Malaysia and NAM chairman. Twelve other leaders invited included from Brazil, China, South Africa and India. The International Monetary Fund, United Nations and World Bank were also invited.
During the last summit in Canada, Ottawa invited several African countries for an informal dialogue with G8 prior to their annual summit.
The Prime Minister described the dialogue as one that was non-confrontational and he gave credit to Chirac whom he said showed professionalism and brilliance in chairing and kept the discussion on course.
All the leaders, he said, were given an opportunity to speak and during Malaysias turn he spoke on the importance of the meeting because any decisions the G8 made would have a tremendous effect on the rest of the world.
Like the last time they decided to increase the value of the yen to reduce Japanese export to the developed countries. The move had resulted in Malaysias yen loan to jump by 200%. If they had allowed us to express our views, it would not have happened.''
Dr Mahathir also held a closed-door meeting with China's President Hu Jintao along with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
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