Spotlight: G20 summit to open new path for growth — experts

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BEIJING, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) — The 11th summit of the G20 major economies is expected to open a new path for growth and more efficient global economic governance, international experts have said.

The summit is being held in eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou under the theme of “Toward an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy.”

OVERCOMING GLOBAL ECONOMIC DIFFICULTIES

The greatest challenge for the G20 is to overcome economic difficulties the world has encountered since the 2008 financial crisis erupted, Jose Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, told Xinhua in an interview this week.

For Neil Renwick, professor of global security at Britain’s Coventry University, a big priority for the G20 summit is “to get the group’s members back to medium and long-term strategic planning, rather than on-the-hoof crisis response.”

The G20 Hangzhou summit “is essentially about consensus-building, establishing a workable middle way that can oil the wheels of the world’s crowded and complex financial and economic systems,” Renwick said in a recent article.

“The meeting is concerned with stressing the importance of technological innovation, especially by promoting the digital economy, entrepreneurship and improved financial and economic governance through institutional reforms,” Renwick said.

“As a business leader, I would expect the overarching theme at the B20 (Business 20) and G20 will be the need for increased global growth and subsequently, the actions and policies needed to deliver greater growth,” Mary Andringa, co-chair of the B20’s SME (small-and medium-sized enterprises) Development Taskforce, told People’s Daily.

Andringa, chairperson of Vermeer Corporation, said she hoped that G20 commitments would be made toward regulatory simplification, a more open and transparent business environment, ratifying the trade facilitation agreement to simplify cross-border trade.

G20 commitments should also be made toward improved frameworks for public-private partnerships to enable infrastructure investment, well-thought-out guidelines for the future of electronic trade coupled with increased investment in broadband deployment, and innovative ways to close skills gaps and connect people to opportunities, Andringa said.

CHINA’S ROLE

Gurria has hailed China for placing the challenge to overcome global economic difficulties at the very center of this year’s G20 agenda.

Under the theme of the summit, there are four priorities: “breaking a new path for growth,” “more effective and efficient global economic and financial governance,” “robust international trade and investment,” and “inclusive and interconnected development,” Renwick said.

Renwick highlighted an inclusive world economy, pointing out the G20 should come up with a meaningful definition of “inclusive” and actual plans and tools to make the world more so.

“This is where China’s year of G20 leadership has already made a positive difference,” Renwick said. “It has moved sustainable development into the political center ground and set the goal of coming up with real plans for implementing massive global agreements. It has enforced a mindset of actually getting things done, for example by setting up an innovative economic indicator system for structural reforms and proposing the new anti-corruption measures.”

“China’s goals for the G20 are a greater international focus on sustainable and inclusive development for all sections of the world’s population. It has put Africa, often neglected by the West, at the top of the agenda,” Michele Geraci, head of China Economic Policy Program and assistant professor in finance at University of Nottingham, said in an article.

The Chinese presidency of the G20 has been very successful as the country has been very clear about the need to boost free trade and increase the flow of investment around the world, said Argentine Ambassador to China Diego Guelar.

In a column written this week for Argentine daily Clarin, the ambassador said China is uniquely poised to lead the charge as it has been the highest recipient of foreign investment for the last two decades and has helped build an ever more connected and open world.

“This year’s agenda will fuel the German and Argentinean presidencies (2017 and 2018), which will have to consolidate the path we must walk prior to 2030, by eliminating extreme poverty and defeating international terrorism and drug trafficking (as marked in the UN’s 2030 agenda),” Guelar wrote.

“China has laid the groundwork for meaningful action as no G20 leader state ever has before,” Renwick said.

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