What to be done to make G20 better, more effective

Updated: 2016-09-13 16:50


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BEIJING - The just-closed G20 Summit was unprecedented and broke many records both in form and substance.

In form, China dazzled the G20 leaders and the world at large with a most impressive display of Chinese hospitalities and organizational excellence, by bringing out the best that Hangzhou city and China at large were able to offer for the G20 and the whole world.

The gala performanceat at the West Lake scenic zone in the evening of September 4, including the ballet dancers dancing to the tune of the Swan Lake, was a great artistic achievement in itself.

In substance, the G20 Hangzhou Summit broke the record in inviting many guest countries, especially developing countries, to the Hangzhou Summit, thus making it the most inclusive G20 Summit so far.

The wide range of agenda items and topics for the Hangzhou summit, focusing on innovation, inclusive development, integrated development, infrastructure, sustainable development, green financing, etc. enabled the G20 leaders to look at these important topics in a more integrated and coordinated manner.

Furthermore, China's effort to promote the transformation of G20 from a reactionary framework to deal with crisis, to a new framework for more coordinated and integrated global economic development in the coming years and decades, at least showed the G20 and the world at large a new and alternative way to address global development issues.

It may not be surprising that history may record the G20 Summit as one of the, if not the most successive and impressive G20 Summits.

While we can leave it to historians to work on this, it is however significant to think about what to be done to make G20 better and more effective:

Moving to guiding global economic development

The rise of G20 was mainly due to the need of greater international cooperation in dealing with the international financial crisis around 2008. In a sense, G20 was like a fire brigade with a mandate to put out a global fire.

While dealing with crisis will remain important for G20 for many years to come, the equally important, if not the more important task is to avoid and prevent crisis and to guide global economic, trade and financial development

This will require the G20 members to better coordinate their economic, trade and financial policies and actions and to promote global economic development in a more coordinated and concerted manner.

Setting up a mechanism to share the G20 outcomes

A framework should be set up to share the G20 outcomes with the rest of the world which are not involved in G20 directly.

G20 should not be G20 for the G20, G20 should be G20 for the G20 and the rest of the world. The reality is that the rest of the world care about G20 as much as G20 and its members.

This new mechanism will make G20 more inclusive and sustainable. This new mechanism will also make it easier to achieve more effective coordination of international economic development.

The author Gao Zhikai is the director of China National Association for International Studies and chairman of China Energy Security Institute