G-20 questions how to head off a global currency war

World flags wave in Seoul, South Korea

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Now the global perspective, what's happening in business and economics around the world and how it affects us, here in the U.S. Finance ministers and central bankers from the G-20 nations are meeting in South Korea today. Top of their agenda -- the question of how to head off a global currency war. The BBC's John Sudworth is with us from Seoul with the latest.

Hi John.

JOHN SUDWORTH: Hello Steve.

CHIOTAKIS: The meetng wasn't set up to deal with this problem, but currency has come to dominate the agenda. What can they do about it?

SUDWORTH: Yeah, it's the issue of the day. I think from Europe and America's point of view, what they'd like to see is an agreement that countries stop manipulating their currencies. But of course that's going to be difficult. I think China, which is obviously the target of that kind of move, is going to be reluctant to sign any sort of a statement which has implied blame of its position. China says that it's the really the loose monetary policy in the West that's to blame. So there really is a big difference of opinion here and it's very difficult to see any easy way of breaking the deadlock.

CHIOTAKIS: John, what other issues are they actually there to discuss?

SUDWORTH: Well, there's technical issues on the table: banking regulation, reform of the IMF, that kind of thing. But the big concern, Steve is this: you remember the optimism of a couple of years ago when the people felt the world was going to come together to take action to stop a repeat of the financial crisis. There's concern that these disagreements over currency suggest that after all said and done, the leadership summit next month, meaningful progress may not be so easy to achieve.

CHIOTAKIS: Alright, the BBC's John Sudworth in Seoul. John, thank you.

SUDWORTH: It's a pleasure, Steve.

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