G20 needs to be strategic long-term oriented actor: B20 Germany Sherpa
By Guan Kejiang from People’s Daily
The G20 should not only focus on implementation of members’ individual measures at the national level, but also be a strategically long-term orientated actor, said Stormy-Annika Mildner, B20 Germany Sherpa and the head of the Department External Economic Policy of the Federation of German Industries (BDI).
The Chinese G20 presidency has been right in emphasizing this characteristic of the G20 by focusing on common and coordinated actions, Mildner told People’s Daily when talking about her expectations of the G20 and B20.
Suggesting the G20 to be a strategic long-term orientated actor, the sherpa noted that it has to set the right frameworks that allow us to make full use of emerging opportunities and manage long-term challenges through deeper cooperation, better coordination, and stronger actions.
The Chinese G20 presidency has been focusing on common and coordinated actions and introducing important new topics such as innovation and green finance, Mildner noted, adding that it has nonetheless pursued coherence with former presidencies by deepening cooperation and coordination on existing themes such as infrastructure connectivity, energy efficiency, and investment policy making.
The sherpa added that the business circle has developed a strong set of recommendations that provide the G20 with concrete and implementable actions, which can reach consensus across all members. She believes if these policies are implemented they will substantially boost growth and prosperity.
Mildner, who also contributed to the Trade & Investment Taskforce, elaborated on B20’s detailed suggestions. According to her, the B20 emphasizes its previous calls to respect the protectionism standstill and the request for the swift and ambitious implementation of the WTO agreement on trade facilitation.
In addition, the B20 stresses the coherence of regional trade agreements in times of slow progress at the multilateral level, suggesting expert reviews that can help to identify potential for plurilateralization of measures.
A new impetus, according to the sherpa, was introduced on investment policymaking. The B20 recommendations on transparency, right to a fair dispute settlement and the rule of law, are reflected in the G20 trade ministers’ principles on investment policy making.
The global governance is a multi-stakeholder process, she pointed out, explaining that not only states but also businesses, civil society and individuals play a fundamental role in shaping policies and their implementation.
According to Mildner, the B20 has supported the G20 in living up to its role as the premier forum for international economic cooperation. B20 recommendations essentially support the G20 to set the right policies that enable sustainable growth in the years to come. This includes, for instance, calls for action on digital trade, a multilateral investment framework, and better future-orientated regulation.
Mildner also said that China is beyond doubt of tremendous importance to the world economy. “Not only due to its sheer size, but also because of its increasing role in sustainability, be it infrastructure investments or CO2 emissions,” she said.
With this increasingly important role also comes responsibility, which China needs to live up to, she stressed.
Since its WTO-accession, China has undertaken a number of important reforms that have sustained economic growth in China and its integration into global value chains. However, serious problems remain, Mildner commented.
Whether China is able to increase its innovation capacity is a crucial factor for the transformation its Chinese economy, the sherpa concluded.