Leading analysts from influential think tanks from 11 countries across the world provide their interim assessment of the Australian G20 presidency in this report. They all participated in last year’s Think20 meeting in Sydney, organised by the Lowy Institute, and are now discussing whether Australia has been able to make progress as G20 chair, which global issues need more attention from the Australian presidency, and what will need to be done to make the Brisbane G20 Summit in November 2014 a success.

Key findings

  • Australia’s intentions to streamline the G20 agenda and focus on a few key issues are strongly welcomed by the participants. To which extent, this has been successfully implemented is an area of debate.
  • Australia’s G20 presidency faces numerous challenges. While the announcement of a 2 per cent growth target at the February Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting in Sydney has been broadly welcomed, its usefulness depends on whether member countries follow through with reform efforts domestically. The Australian presidency’s commitments to boost infrastructure investment across the G20 and advance the tax agenda also critically depend on their proper implementation.
  • Areas where the Australian presidency’s efforts so far have been judged as insufficient include addressing climate change and revitalising the multilateral trade system.
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