LONDON – Leaders of 20 of the world's industrialized and emerging economies will meet in London in April to check their progress on tackling the global financial crisis, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday.
Brown told the House of Commons that U.S. President-elect Barack Obama expects to travel to the one-day talks among members of the G-20 grouping.
The talks will follow up on a summit in Washington earlier this month, which critics said was hampered by having the outgoing President George W. Bush as host.
Some skeptics claimed that meeting produced only sketchy outcomes, with leaders promising to examine more detailed plans for the reform of international organizations and tighter regulation of banks next year.
Talks in London will scrutinize the bloc's vows to cooperate more closely, toughen supervision of the world's largest financial institutions and to give bigger roles in decision-making to fast-rising nations.
The meeting could be Obama's first visit to Europe, coming a day ahead of a planned NATO 60th anniversary summit in France and Germany which leaders of the military bloc's members — including the incoming U.S. chief — are expected to attend.
Brown's office said the meeting on April 2 would likely include just members of the G-20, unlike the Washington talks, which offered seats to Spain and four international organizations.
"It will deal with the major questions of economic actions that are necessary," Brown said. "I have spoken to the incoming U.S. administration and President-elect Obama expects to come to Britain at that time."
NATO's 60th anniversary summit is being held jointly by the neighboring cities of Strasbourg, in France, and Kehl, Germany, from April 3. NATO leaders, including Brown and Obama, plan to travel directly from London to the military summit, Brown's Downing Street office said.
Included in the G-20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the United States. The 27-nation European Union bloc is also a member of the grouping.
In Washington, leaders endorsed a series of broad goals to fend off future economic calamities and to revive the world economy.
Britain will host the second summit as it takes over the chairmanship of the G-20 grouping from Brazil in 2009.
The chance to lead the summit will be a boost for Brown, who has sought to cement his status as a world statesman by placing himself in the thick of work to tackle the financial crisis.
The summit will look specifically at attempts to create so-called colleges of supervisors, which are intended to share information on the world's largest financial institutions, Brown's office said.
Talks will also examine "the impact of the macroeconomic policy action, both monetary and fiscal, on the economy, and consider what further coordinated steps the G20 countries can take," said a spokesman for Brown's office, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with official policy.
Many of the world's largest economies have already announced significant new fiscal stimulus packages.
In the U.S., the Federal Reserve and the Treasury said Tuesday they planned to provide $800 billion to aid the market for consumer debt and to make mortgage loans cheaper and more available.
On Wednesday, the European Commission urged EU governments to commit to around $256 billion in spending and tax cuts to help Europe through the downturn. It said the bulk of money for a two-year "European Economic Recovery Plan" would need to come from the 27 EU governments.