GLOBAL – Finance ministers at the Group of Seven industrial countries have hailed the role of “pro-growth” measures – including pension reforms – that have contributed to global growth of around 4.25%.

“The recovery is proceeding rapidly, with global growth of around 4.25% in 2003-04, the best growth rate in the world economy in the last 15 years,” the officials said in a statement after a meeting in New York at the weekend.

“Sound pro-growth policies in our countries have contributed to this recovery through such measures as tax reform, more flexible labor, product, and capital markets, reduced regulatory burdens, pension reforms, and strengthened financial sectors and macroeconomic policy frameworks.”

They said there was now a “strong foundation” for job creation and productivity growth. “We will work to implement labor market reforms, reduce regulatory and legal burdens, support entrepreneurship and innovation, and pursue healthcare reform. We reaffirm our commitment to sound public finances.”

The statement saw risks to the outlook in the form of higher oil prices. The officials said: “We now call on all oil producers to provide adequate supplies to ensure that world oil prices return to levels consistent with lasting global economic prosperity and stability, in particular for the poorest developing countries.”