G20's role in global economy

Updated: 2013-08-29 09:52

By Zhang Jun (China Daily)

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Worldwide slowdown and difficulties call for nations to take co-ordinated steps and work together for universal benefits

The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis increased the need for a more inclusive and balanced global economic architecture. The 2008 Global Financial Crisis further highlighted the flaws of the current international financial architecture, and the G20 became the premium forum for international economic cooperation with its role in crisis management and prevention strengthened. This was historic because, for the first time systemically important emerging countries were given a bigger voice at the core of global economic governance.

Although it is difficult to strike the right balance between representativeness and effectiveness, and it needs to and could be improved through better policy coordination and internal functioning, the G20 has proved to be the most effective forum for international economic cooperation. However, the G20 needs to stick to its commitment to increasing inclusiveness by opening the door to countries from under-represented regions and carrying out outreach activities.

Remedying the global economy will take time and patience, and the G20 needs to "dream small, act big". Instead of spouting slogans, the G20 members should keep their feet on the ground and avoid becoming just a talking shop. The onus is on the G20 members to deliver on its commitments. It needs to focus on building confidence in the global economic recovery and transform this confidence into concrete action.

St. Petersburg will host the Eighth G20 Leaders' Summit on Sept 5 and 6 with the theme of growth and employment, which accurately reflects the needs of the global economy. What can the G20 do to make itself an effective mechanism in response to the global financial turbulences and low economic growth? Since assuming the G20 presidency in 2013, Russia has made great efforts to prepare for the summit, with a detailed outline directing the schedule of the finance ministers' meetings and various working groups. There are great expectations that the St. Petersburg Summit will result in prescriptions that will boost the health of the global economy.

We live in a globalized world which means every country should carry out responsible economic policies that do not have negative spill-over effects on the global economy.

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