Speeches | 31 May 2013

The G20 Leaders’ process five years on: an assessment from an Asian perspective

One of the most significant developments in global economic leadership in recent years has been the development of the G20 Leaders’ Summit.

Think 20 Seminar - Lowy Institute

After a positive start, particularly with the 2009 London G20 Leaders’ Summit, the G20 has more recently been criticized as losing focus and making little headway in dealing with major global economic issues. Hence, this is an opportune time to ‘take stock’ and assess the performance of the G20 — to identify what has worked and what has not.

This is important if the G20 is to be strengthened such that it can live up to its self-appointed role as ‘the premier forum for international cooperation.’

This was the objective of the ‘Regional Think 20 Seminar’ jointly hosted by the G20 Studies Centre at the Lowy Institute, the Asia Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and the Korea Development Institute (KDI), from May 22-24 at the Lowy Institute in Sydney.

This regional seminar was an extension of the ‘Think 20’ initiative that was launched by Mexico in 2012, where a number of think tanks from G20 countries convened in order to provide input and analysis to the G20 Chair on the G20’s agenda.

Russia repeated the Think 20 exercise and Australia will do the same when it chairs the G20 in 2014.

However, economic developments in Asia have not featured prominently in the G20.  Emphasizing a regional perspective is therefore important because much of the discussion and policy initiatives coming from the G20 have been influenced by economic developments in Europe and the US.  The objective of the regional Think 20 seminar was to commence a process that will help correct this situation.

The papers presented and discussed at the seminar will serve as important inputs to Australia’s preparation for chairing the G20 in 2014.

  • Mike Callaghan
  • Hugh Jorgensen
  • Mark Thirlwell

One of the most significant developments in global economic leadership in recent years has been the development of the G20 Leaders’ Summit.

Think 20 Seminar - Lowy Institute

After a positive start, particularly with the 2009 London G20 Leaders’ Summit, the G20 has more recently been criticized as losing focus and making little headway in dealing with major global economic issues. Hence, this is an opportune time to ‘take stock’ and assess the performance of the G20 — to identify what has worked and what has not.

This is important if the G20 is to be strengthened such that it can live up to its self-appointed role as ‘the premier forum for international cooperation.’

This was the objective of the ‘Regional Think 20 Seminar’ jointly hosted by the G20 Studies Centre at the Lowy Institute, the Asia Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and the Korea Development Institute (KDI), from May 22-24 at the Lowy Institute in Sydney.

This regional seminar was an extension of the ‘Think 20’ initiative that was launched by Mexico in 2012, where a number of think tanks from G20 countries convened in order to provide input and analysis to the G20 Chair on the G20’s agenda.

Russia repeated the Think 20 exercise and Australia will do the same when it chairs the G20 in 2014.

However, economic developments in Asia have not featured prominently in the G20.  Emphasizing a regional perspective is therefore important because much of the discussion and policy initiatives coming from the G20 have been influenced by economic developments in Europe and the US.  The objective of the regional Think 20 seminar was to commence a process that will help correct this situation.

The papers presented and discussed at the seminar will serve as important inputs to Australia’s preparation for chairing the G20 in 2014.

  • Mike Callaghan
  • Hugh Jorgensen
  • Mark Thirlwell
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Executive Summary

Introduction


Opening Remarks


Session 1: Part I: Overview Assessment of G20 — what has worked, what has not?

  • What are the lessons from the performance of the G20 since 2008?
  • What is the regional perspective on the G20, what is its relationship with regional organisations?

Chair: Mike Callaghan PSM, Lowy Institute

Speakers:


​Session 1: Part II: A look back at the Seoul G20 Summit

Chair: Mike Callaghan PSM, Lowy Institute

Speakers:


Session 2: Are we on track to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth?

  • Is the Framework and MAP delivering intended results?
  • Can the Framework and MAP be strengthened?
  • Is the Framework relevant to regional surveillance?
  • Is the Accountability Framework effective?
  • How can the Russian priorities on financing for investment and public debt management be incorporated?

Chair: Mark Thirlwell, Lowy Institute

Speakers:


Session 3: How much progress has been made in reforming the international financial architecture?

  • Has the focus on reforming IMF quota and governance been appropriate? Is it contributing to an enhanced performance by the IMF?
  • What is the state of play on strengthening safety nets? What are the lessons from the experience of the IMF in European programs?
  • What are some of the lessons from managing volatile capital flows?
  • Where do we stand in efforts to enhance the effectiveness of the international monetary system?
  • Are there lessons from Europe for the operation of safety nets, both global and regional?
  • What are we missing?

Chair: Barry Sterland PSM, Australian Treasury

Speakers:


Session 4: Financial Regulation – what progress has been made towards a safer and more efficient financial system?

  • Is the regulatory response too complex? Will the regulatory changes make a real difference?
  • Has sufficient attention been given to ensuring that the financial system is serving the needs of the real economy?
  • Do the reforms meet the requirements of all countries, particularly emerging markets and developing countries?
  • Does the relationship between the G20 and FSB need to be clarified?
  • Are the regulatory changes altering the scope of financial regulation?
  • What are some of the longer-term trends in financial intermediation and will there be implications for the region?

Chair: Dr Junkyu Lee, ADB

Speakers:


Session 5: Trade and Investment- a success or a failure for the G20?

  • How effective has the G20 been in resisting protectionist pressures and promoting trade liberalization?
  • Where to with the Doha round; what contribution can the G20 make?
  • Implication of growth in global value chains?
  • Consistency between regional trading agreements and the multilateral system?
  • Is there a case for a multilateral investment agreement?

Chair: Dr Masahiro Kawai, Dean, Asian Development Bank Institute

Speakers:


Session 6: Sustainable Development — has the G20 got the right priorities?

  • What contribution has the G 20 made to the development agenda?
  • What more can the G20 do?
  • What can be done to advance investment in infrastructure in developing countries?
  • Do we have the infrastructure in place to effectively promote green growth?

Chair: Dr Heenam Choi, Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Korea

Speakers: