G20: rebutting some misconceptions

21 Feb 2013

This paper contains a summary of recent G20 developments and four 'rebuttal' articles that counter ­common misconceptions about the forum.

Key findings:

Russia has announced a busy and ambitious agenda for its G20 Presidency in 2013 – they plan to prioritise growth by focusing on eight policy areas that will ‘ignite a new cycle of economic growth.’

The first finance ministers and central bank governors meeting of 2013 addressed the concern over ‘currency wars’ and several other key global economic issues.

It is important to benchmark the reality of the G20 against what we might reasonably expect from such a body. Given the diversity of the G20’s membership and the complexity of the problems being tackled, the G20 has been a ‘surprising success.’

The G20 should not aim to be the ‘one G to rule the world.’ Instead, the G20 has an important role to play as a ‘ginger group’ that can ‘cut through the inertia’ that often characterises the key global economic institutions and established financial initiatives.

The non-universal membership of the G20 does not preclude its ability to achieve meaningful outcomes. The main focus of the G20 should not be to dictate policy programs to non-G20 members or the international financial institutions, rather, its key concern should be on how the domestic policies of its own members can be implemented in an integrated way that contributes to sustainable and balanced global economic growth.

Authored by Mike Callaghan, Dr Stephen Grenville AO, Professor Jason Sharman, and Mark Thirlwell.

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