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" we remain very concerned about the continuing instability of the global economy of which we are a part "That further means two things: making better economic choices now and preparing ourselves now for the demographic pressures the Canadian economy faces. On what we must do now, first, we will, of course, continue to keep tax rates down. That is central to our Government's economic vision.  But we will do more, much more. In the months to come our Government will undertake major transformations to position Canada for growth over the next generation. For example, we will continue to make the key investments in science and technology necessary to sustain a modern competitive economy.  But we believe that Canada's less than optimal results for those investments is a significant problem for our country.We have recently received a report on this - the Jenkins Report - and we will soon act on the problems the report identifies. We will continue to advance our trade linkages. We will pass agreements signed, particularly in our own hemisphere, and we will work to conclude major deals beyond it. We expect to complete negotiations on a Canada-EU free trade agreement this year.  We will work to complete negotiations on a free trade agreement with India in 2013.  And we will begin entry talks with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, while also pursuing other avenues to advance our trade with Asia. Of course, I will again be making an official visit to China very shortly.We will also continue working with the Obama administration to implement our joint "Beyond the Border" initiative - our plan to strengthen and deepen our economic and security links to our most important partner. However, at the same time, we will make it a national priority to ensure we have the capacity to export our energy products beyond the United States and specifically to Asia.  In this regard, we will soon take action to ensure that major energy and mining projects are not subject to unnecessary regulatory delays - that is, delay merely for the sake of delay.This complements work we are already doing, and that we will move forward on, with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business to cut the burden of red tape on entrepreneurs. We will also undertake significant reform of our immigration system. We will ensure that, while we respect our humanitarian obligations and family reunification objectives, we make our economic and labour force needs the central goal of our immigration efforts in the future.As I said earlier, one of the backdrops for my concerns is Canada's ageing population. If not addressed promptly this has the capacity to undermine Canada's economic position, and for that matter, that of all western nations, well beyond the current economic crises. Immigration does help us address that and will even more so in the future. Our demographics also constitute a threat to the social programmes and services that Canadians cherish. For this reason, we will be taking measures in the coming months, not just to return to a balanced budget in the medium term, but also to ensure the sustainability of our social programmes and fiscal position over the next generation.Let me summarise by saying that, notwithstanding Canada's many advantages, we remain very concerned about the continuing instability of the global economy of which we are a part. The problems afflicting Europe, and for that matter, the United States, are not only challenging today but, in my judgement, threaten to be even greater problems in the future.Having said that, each nation has a choice to make. Western nations, in particular, face a choice of whether to create the conditions for growth and prosperity, or to risk long-term economic decline.  In every decision, or failure to decide we are choosing our future right now.And, as we all know, both from the global crises of the past few years and from past experience in our own countries, easy choices now mean fewer choices later. Canada's choice will be, with clarity and urgency, to seize and to master our future, to be a model of confidence, growth, and prosperity in the 21st century. nThese remarks by Prime Minister Stephen Harper are excerpted from his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on 26 January 2012.Picture: Richard Lewis, Crown Copyrightg8 member countries 023

Turning a Page on the Financial CrisisNicolas Sarkozy, President, The French Republic We have not emerged from the economic crisis, but we are in the process of turning a page on the financial crisis. The strategy we have implemented is in the process of bearing fruit. Spreads - the interest rate levels at which states borrow money on the market - have returned to their pre-summer 2011 levels. As for France, spreads have reduced by 100 basis points. Today, France borrows at a rate significantly below 3 per cent.So how has the system worked? How have we withstood the financial crisis? Why are we turning a page on this financial crisis, which could have swept away the Euro Area and the whole of Europe? Because over recent months we have profoundly reformed the European Union, the European Economic and Monetary Union. Let us look at the distance we have travelled since December 2011. We have considerably speeded up the pace of decision-making. At the beginning of December 2011 we decided on a treaty. It was signed in March 2012. To all those who talked about a succession of summits bringing no results, here is the clearest refutation: a financial crisis that is passing by and a rate of decision-making that I think has never been seen in Europe: just think of it, a treaty in December and the signing of the treaty in March. The European strategy has been coherent, with four components: n a budgetary consolidation component - we couldnot continue building up deficits and debtn a solidarity component - the European StabilityMechanism treaty, implemented in advance, because we decided to apply it as of this summer, even though it was due to be applied on 1 " We must promote growth, competitiveness, research and innovation "July 2013n convergence - that is very important: it was thegreat weakness of the Maastricht Treaty, which did not organise convergence, the convergence among the 17 [Euro Area countries] that is the goal of the treaty we have just signed n and finally governance - because the treatyestablishes an economic government of Europe, because the treaty signed today and the ESM (the support and financial solidarity mechanism) form a single entity. Remember, less than two years ago we could not utter the words "economic governance": today, not only are those words in the treaty but it is also one of the facts of the treaty.We have established a monetary policy of massive support for financial stability and for growth: two three-year operations between December and February, with a total value in excess of ?1 trillion. I explained to you in December that this monetary strategy would enable us to reduce the pressure on sovereign debt; it worked. And I want to congratulate the governor of the European Central Bank, Mr Draghi. As you know, an unlimited supply of liquid assets was made available to the banks, at a rate of return of 1 per cent over three years. And I told you this supply of liquid assets at 1 per cent over three years would allow the European banks to buy sovereign debt and reduce the pressure on financing government debt; that is exactly what happened. And then we had to find a solution to the Greek crisis. The Greek debt operation was launched on 24 February, and it's enabled us to reduce the Greek debt by ?107 billion. And today the elements for solving the Greek crisis are in place.What do we still have to do? Finalise the introduction of firewalls. We decided today to release two tranches Pictured: Nicolas SarkozyCredit: UMP photo024 g8 member countries