A three-day forum on international finance in Beijing concerned itself with ways to increase global cooperation and development by focusing on how to bring the financial system into closer contact with the global economic situation.
The theme of the International Finance Forum (IFF) 2011, held Nov 8 to Nov 10, was "New Frameworks of Global Finance: Reform and Influence".
Discussions centered on the international monetary system, debt crisis, financial markets, and regulatory financial structures. And, as was the case with previous sessions, the annual conference had a long list of key international figures, including heads of government, finance experts, prominent economists, and acknowledged experts in related fields.
One prominent topic this year was the need for a more sustainable global economy and the question of how to solve the debt crises and have sustainable economic development.
"The IFF has seen great changes in the global economy and finance in its eight years, and, that as the economy recovers and governments consider a new global financial order, the IFF can help with the needed communication and cooperation," said Cheng Siwei, president of the forum.
It can do this, Cheng said, by providing an arena for discussing possibilities of the prospects in the global economy and in finance, and by examining the transformations and impact of global regulations.
Guo Jinlong, the mayor of Beijing, spoke at the opening ceremony where, he said, the world is still being affected by the global financial crisis and some developed countries are suffering from a debt crisis, while others are feeling great pressure from inflation.
Guo went on to say that seeking an economic recovery by finance is a shared notion and is the responsibility of China as well.
He said that Beijing, in this regard, has considered financial development as an important way to develop a sustainable economy, for years.
Over the past five years, he said, Beijing's financial business has grown at an average rate of 11 percent annually and that it will do more to develop that business and make the capital a more influential finance center, internationally.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, in a video message for the opening ceremony, gave the UN's view on reforming global economic regulations, and said the UN will sign agreements with G20 members on complementary development.
Developing countries, he said, need to get more involved in building a new global framework and regulations.
Paul Volcker, the IFF co-chairman, also spoke via video, where he said that, under current circumstances, governments have gotten a great lesson about how finance is no longer a matter of just one nation, but an international issue.
Volcker, who is also head of the US president's Economic Recovery Committee and a former chairman of US Federal Reserve Board, noted that financial globalization means that countries need to understand each other more and cooperate more in financial supervision and financial frameworks.
He said the international currency system, discussed at the 2011 session, has been emphasized repeatedly over the past decade and that, building such a system is especially important in Europe, which is now suffering from the debt crisis.
Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary-general of the UN conference on trade and development, said via video that the world today is undergoing an economic recovery that is more noticeable in developing countries where the economies are recovering at a rate of 6.5 percent.
Developed counties, on the other hand, Supachai said, are recovering at a lower rate - about two percent on average - some even slower, as is the case with Greece and Ireland.
He said the International Monetary Fund expected the world economy to reach an average of 0.5 percent growth by the end of 2011 and that the world had held the wrong attitude towards the financial crisis and had not learned a proper lesson from it.
He said that now is the right time for a new financial architecture and reforms in the global financial structure.