France will transform G8 into G14: Sarkozy

PARIS: France will push for the G8 group of industrial powers to admit the major emerging economies and thus become a G14 when Paris presides over the group in 2011, President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday.

The G8 already includes the biggest emerging economies in some of its deliberations, but retains its own identity as the most influential world economic policy forum, despite mounting calls to broaden its base.

"I note with pleasure that the transformation of the G8 into the G14 has taken a decisive step forward," Sarkozy told a meeting of French ambassadors in Paris, noting that France has supported Brazil's call for an end to the G8.

"The Canadian presidency in 2010 will conduct the bulk of its summit as the G14 and we intend to totally finish the transformation into the G14 under the French presidency in 2011," he promised.

Already at this year's G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy, the G8 -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States -- was joined by Brazil, India, China, South Africa, Mexico and Egypt.

But some G8 members, notably Japan, have resisted formally abandoning the G8 structure, arguing that more members would find it harder to reach a consensus on major economic policy issues.