LONDON, (Reuters) – Oil-rich Gulf states should contribute to a fund to stabilise the financial system and help countries hit by the global economic crisis, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Saturday.
Speaking at the start of a four-day tour of the region, Brown said restoring stability around the world would benefit wealthy oil-producing countries. “Everybody has got a part to play in solving this world downturn and I think the oil-rich states will want to play their part,” Brown said in an interview with Sky News. “Their interest is in a stable energy price, not in the massive volatility we have seen where oil prices have shot up and then come down again. Their interest too is in a well-functioning global economy.” His plan calls for greater co-ordination of monetary and fiscal policy, improving lending between banks and helping struggling countries with a crisis fund, he added.
The International Monetary Fund needs extra money if it is to create a facility to help struggling countries. “The Saudis and other countries in the Gulf states are very important,” he added. “They are the countries with oil revenues; they are the countries that need to help.” Brown’s tour precedes a global summit in Washington on Nov. 15 which will seek to reform the international financial system following what some policymakers have called the worst financial crisis in living memory.
The former finance minister, who has seen his weak poll ratings rise during the financial turmoil, will be joined on the tour by business minister Peter Mandelson, energy minister Ed Miliband and a business delegation.