This issue of the Monitor contains reflections on Think20 2014. The Think20 involves think tanks and academics from G20 countries, and aims to feed policy ideas into the G20 process. The Monitor contains papers covering the four policy areas discussed at Think20 2014: The G20’s economic and finance challenges, trade liberalisation, infrastructure and development. The papers are not a summary of the meeting nor do they reflect the agreed views of participants.
- The development of a combined G20 growth strategy, which outlines how G20 members are working together to lift growth, along with the release of each member’s individual growth strategy, should be elevated as top priorities for Brisbane.
- The multilateral trading system remains the strongest force for economic growth and the best defence against distorting protectionism. As part of embracing the importance of trade to growth, G20 leaders should aim to provide strategic guidance on the future of the multilateral trading system.
- The renewed focus of the G20 on infrastructure is a positive development given the global infrastructure shortfall, however the first question for the G20 should be where or whether it can actually add value to the efforts of international organisations and individual countries in facilitating increased infrastructure investment.
- The G20’s primary development goal, under Australia’s presidency, should be to strengthen the links between the major, but currently uncoordinated, development processes underway in 2014/15. These include the G20’s own framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth, UNFCCC COP21, the post-2015 MDGs, and the UN’s sustainable development agenda. By establishing a strategic convergence group, the G20 could ‘assist upstream’ to these processes by “shaping coherent, convergent outcomes”.