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Australia’s Brisbane Summit challenge: securing G20’s future

19 Aug 2014


This paper examines the role, effectiveness and processes associated with the G20, specifically looking at the issues of international governance, financial regulation and taxation regulation.

Executive summary

With the GFC behind us and the G20’s financial system reform agenda ending soon, the group has been left open to criticism that the November 2014 Brisbane Summit (also known as the Leaders Meeting), which Australia is chairing, will just be a ‘talkfest’. The G20’s relevance and influence in the crowded international governance space is being put into question, leaving many wondering whether there is a role for the G20 to play in the future or whether it is simply duplicating the work of other more-effective organisations. Australia has embraced the presidency of the G20 with zeal, with a narrow agenda focused on economic issues, including a growth target of raising G20 GDP by more than two per cent above expected levels over the next five years.

A growth target in itself may not be revolutionary, but by expecting each country to produce an action plan for the target, Australia has attempted to introduce accountability, setting the tone that the Brisbane Summit will not simply be a ‘talkfest’ and showing that Australia is up to the task of the presidency.

The presidency may be going well, but Australia faces the daunting task of securing the G20’s future at the Brisbane Summit. This policy perspective finds that there is a role for the G20 to play in the international governance space, despite criticism levelled at the group. It also finds that Australia, as chair of the Brisbane Summit, must rise to the challenge of ensuring the G20 remains relevant and influential as an international cooperation institution, and of keeping the financial and taxation reform agendas moving forwards constructively.

Related identifier: ISBN 0 85801 295 2

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