Big hopes as China hosts the G20

Updated: 2016-05-06 06:54

By Zhang Yunbi(China Daily Europe)

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As China prepares to host its first G20 Summit, the importance of this grouping of major world economies is becoming more apparent, according to experts.

The event, slated for Sept 4 and 5 in East China's Hangzhou city, comes at a time when increasing deflationary risks loom over the global economy's recovery.

Boosting growth among developing countries is highlighted on the summit's agenda, as is making more progress in areas such as global climate change.

Since December, around 30 preparatory meetings have been held at the ministerial or working-group level, including a gathering of personal representatives of heads of state, known as sherpas, as well as finance, trade and foreign ministers.

More than 30 additional meetings are scheduled to ensure the summit's success, according to the latest calendar of events published on the G20's website.

Big hopes as China hosts the G20

On April 8, a presidency statement was released following the Second G20 Sherpa Meeting in Guangzhou, stating that the assembled representatives would work toward implementation of the Paris Agreement, which was adopted at the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December.

Huang Wei, a researcher on global economic governance at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, notes: "The G20 now represents the best efficiency in the aspect of global economic governance", while other mechanisms, such as the United Nations and G7, are faced with higher costs or a lack of influence.

"The influence of emerging economies upon the global economy and relevant policies will further expand."

Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and China's G20 sherpa Li Baodong has described the Hangzhou summit as "the first time that the G20 will formulate an action plan on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development".

This ambitious agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in September, is designed to serve as the launch pad for action to promote shared prosperity and well-being for the next 15 years.

"The concept of development runs through the whole design of the agenda and its outcomes for the Hangzhou Summit, thus serving as an overarching theme in the preparatory work," Li told the UN General Assembly in New York on April 21.

Big hopes as China hosts the G20

Upon China's initiative, the G20 is examining ways to support industrialization in Africa and what are known as least developed countries, Li says.

Zhu Jiejin, an associate professor of global governance studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, says if the G20 takes the 2030 Agenda as one of its policy goals, the gathering itself will win more recognition for its role as a "leading international economic cooperation platform".

This will "offer political impetus" for implementing the agenda, make the work of international organs such as the UN easier and encourage more countries to join in, Zhu says.

Gao Hucheng, minister of commerce, has said China will work alongside various parties to push for establishing the G20 trade and investment cooperation mechanism to "regularize" the G20 trade ministers' meeting.

"It is hoped that the G20 global trade growth strategy will be formulated, and the G20 cooperation framework on trade areas is expected to be built, in order to address the trade and financing issues of developing countries and small and medium enterprises," Gao said at a meeting on the sidelines of Boao Asia Forum on March 24.

Huang Wei noted that although the G20 has built mechanisms for regularized meetings of finance, labor ministers and governors of central banks, many other ministerial-level meetings are not regularized yet.

"This means there is a lack of long-term, lasting discussions on a range of issues, as well as the absence of a fundamental preparation for nurturing consensus and outcomes," Huang says.

(China Daily European Weekly 05/06/2016 page1)