Indonesia expects G20 meeting to press food speculators

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo has expressed hope the upcoming G-20 meeting in Paris will be able to put pressure on financial and non-financial companies that have so far been speculating on the global food market.

"We want the G-20 forum to give such pressure so there will no longer be financial and non-financial companies speculating on the global food market," he said here on Wednesday.

Martowardojo is scheduled to attend the meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Paris on February 18-19.

So far, many speculative activities such as futures transactions had led to a surge in global demand for food commodities and caused their prices to increase steadily, he said.

"The activities include futures trading. Normally, financial and non-financial companies can be engaged in forward buy and forward sale. They can also enter futures transactions without underlying transactions. These can cause high demand and raise prices," he said.

In addition, the meeting would hopefully agree on the formation of special funds to increase the productivity of food crops as part of efforts to prevent food instability from worsening further, he said.

"We want the G20 forum to agree on special funds to develop food productivity. On the other hand, we want to send a short-term signal to financial and non-financial companies that have so far been speculating on the food market not to worsen the current food instability caused by the climate change," he said.

(SYS/S012/H-YH/S026)

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