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Merkel calls for expansion of G8
Updated: 2009-07-03 14:30

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Thursday for the expansion of the Group of Eight (G8), saying that leading emerging economies should be included.

Addressing parliament, Merkel briefed lawmakers on the country's priorities at the upcoming G8 summit to be held in L'Aquila, Italy from July 8 to 10.

She said the current world economic downturn could not be resolved by industrialized nations alone.

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"The summit in L'Aquila will make clear that the G8 format is no longer adequate," she said.

Emerging economies such as India, China, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico had to play a role, Merkel said.

"It is important for us to overcome the crisis quickly," she said.

The chancellor said the global trade volume is expected to drop 16 percent this year, which would deal a hard blow to Germany, the world's biggest exporter. She said the country's trade surplus may plunge by more than 100 billion euros (around $140 billion) this year.

Merkel said she will press both rich nations and developing countries at the G8 summit to agree on a new global financial order to ensure there is no repeat of the current economic crisis.

Merkel has long been active in boosting dialogue between rich nations and emerging economies.

When she hosted the G8 summit in Heiligendamm in 2007, she initiated the Heiligendamm process, which institutionalized high level dialogue between the G8 and the five most important emerging economies, known as G5, consisting of China, Mexico, India, Brazil and South Africa.