Ronald Reagan picture

Remarks at a Reception and Dinner for the Williamsburg Economic Summit Conference Delegations at Carter's Grove Plantation in Virginia

May 28, 1983

It's bad enough to have to interrupt a very lovely, festive evening by making a few formal remarks, but it is even worse when I find that by coming up here I have had to shut off the music of the New Orleans Preservation Jazz Hall Band that was flown up here from New Orleans for the occasion—a very historic group. But I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all of you to this latest of our series of economic summit consultations begun so constructively 8 years ago at Rambouillet.

I know that each of these meetings is the result of a great deal of preparation by everyone involved. My thanks, and I'm sure that I speak for each of the delegation here, our thanks go to all of you for having done such a fine job of laying the ground work for this occasion. We give the Sherpas a needle every now and then about not overpreparing these sessions, but we do that just to make sure that they don't take our jobs from us. [Laughter]

It's encouraging to note that in the year since we last met in this forum, the underlying economic situation of the industrialized countries has improved markedly. Although many problems remain, we have made steady efforts to restore conditions for growth in our national economies and international recovery is now underway. Against this background, we can all look forward to a most productive session.

Let me review some of the basic themes and directions for the summit here at Williamsburg. Rather than concentrating on a single issue, this summit will take an integrated view of the domestic and international aspects of the world economy. Broadly speaking, we are dedicated to achieving noninflationary, sustained growth and continued improvements in the international trading and financial system.

There are in our view several basic relationships in the world economy upon which we should focus—the relationship between growth and an open, international economy; between domestic economic policies and exchange rate stability; between finance and trade; between enhanced access to markets and long-term management of the international debt problem; between investment, public and private, and economic growth in the developing world; and between economic strength and security. These are all matters of deep concern to our group of countries.

We look at the world economy against a background of many common interests and shared values. These are invaluable ties which I'm sure this gathering at Williamsburg will serve to strengthen and reinforce. And in this spirit I, like you, am looking forward to the discussions of the next few days with enthusiasm and confidence.

And, again, I thank you, and we can get back to having some fine music. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 8:30 p.m. He hosted the reception and dinner for the heads and members of the summit delegations. Following the reception, which was held on the terrace overlooking colonial gardens on the banks of the James River, the President escorted his guests into the mansion, where dinner was served in three different rooms to the heads of delegations, the foreign ministers, and the finance ministers.

At the dinner, the President and the other heads of delegations discussed security issues. Prior to the President's departure from Carter's Grove, he and Secretary of State George P. Shultz briefed the foreign ministers on the discussions. The President then returned to Providence Hall.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks at a Reception and Dinner for the Williamsburg Economic Summit Conference Delegations at Carter's Grove Plantation in Virginia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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