Agenda of pos­i­tive change

China has con­sulted broadly and thought deeply about is­sues af­fect­ing the world econ­omy, ex­pert says

China Daily (USA) - - VIEWS -

G20 sum­mits are as­sessed on two things: fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity and eco­nomic growth, which form the G20’s core agenda. In terms of fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity, the G20 has made sig­nif­i­cant strides in terms of fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tion, as well as on in­ter­na­tional tax­a­tion and re­forms of global or­ga­ni­za­tions like the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund.

This is still a work in progress, and we have weath­ered re­cent storms such as the mar­ket volatil­ity this year and the Brexit vote in the United King­dom. All these is­sues are be­ing looked at in a global con­text, and we are see­ing progress.

Eco­nomic growth, on the other hand, is a prob­lem be­cause strong, sus­tain­able growth is still elu­sive.

This is a piv­otal year not only for the G20 mem­bers, but for China as well. China has done all the right things early. The lead­er­ship has sig­naled that the G20 is a key Chi­nese for­eign pol­icy pri­or­ity. China has put an em­pha­sis on con­sult­ing widely and think­ing deeply, and de­vel­oped a broad agenda.

I ex­pect China will de­liver a tech­ni­cal agenda of pos­i­tive, in­cre­men­tal change re­gard­ing the medi­umterm chal­lenges and long-term eco­nomic is­sues.

China is al­ready play­ing that role by pre­sid­ing over the G20, and it knows the im­por­tance and mag­ni­tude of the group.

China has made im­por­tant progress in eco­nomic gov­er­nance. In the G20, it has made a lot of progress in a short time. A lot of peo­ple are look­ing to see what kind of lead­er­ship role will be seen at the sum­mit.

The G20 group is not a mini United Na­tions. It is large enough to cap­ture a big enough share of the global econ­omy, pop­u­la­tion and trade, but small enough to fa­cil­i­tate agree­ment on key is­sues. It is in­for­mal and has two very clear man­dates — fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity and eco­nomic growth. For fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity, it can get a tick, but on the other it has not done so well.

Crit­ics see it as a talk­ing shop, but it has set in place im­por­tant changes that af­fect peo­ple’s lives, es­pe­cially in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor, and in a num­ber of key poli­cies such as tax avoid­ance, which are start­ing to see some suc­cess.

China this year has in­vited the largest num­ber of de­vel­op­ing coun­tries ever to at­tend G20 ac­tiv­i­ties. By invit­ing de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, you give them a voice, which is a good thing. De­ci­sions made by the G20 will im­pact on them as well. The au­thor is re­search fel­low and project di­rec­tor, G20 Stud­ies Cen­tre, Lowy In­sti­tute, Aus­tralia.

Tris­tram Sains­bury

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