11 April 2013

Ksenia Yudaeva: G20 is not only a decision-making club, but also an expert platform

On April 6, 2013 the roundtable discussion "Global Governance Reform and the G20" was held within the framework of the Boao Economic Forum for Asia. Chief of the Presidential Experts' Directorate and the Russian G20 Sherpa Ksenia Yudaeva took part in the discussion. The issues of global economic cooperation and international coordination in the G20 format, its benefits and limitations, as well as the issues of international monetary system reform and financial regulation, were raised at the forum.

To help define the G20's role in the post-recession world, participants of the discussion focused on two critical challenges faced by the G20 today - representativeness and effectiveness of the Forum.

There was broad consensus that both issues need to be addressed, otherwise the G20 will be risking a crisis of legitimacy. A number of interventions implied that a global club that takes in 2/3 of the world's population and 90% of global GDP had a reasonable claim to be representative. Some expressed concerns that broadening membership may pose the challenge of diminishing the ability of the G20 to arrive at policy by consensus. At the same time Ksenia Yudaeva admitted that the fact that the question was even raised means it must be acknowledged.

Touching upon the issue of the G20 effectiveness, Ms. Yudaeva reminded the delegates of the fact that in 2008, on the peak of the crisis, virtually all of the remedies were already "on the shelf" from earlier crises experience of the 1930s and 1970s, which made the task of combating the crisis much easier.

"Today the world has changed and we have moved into the unknown. The world had never before been in this kind of stagnation. The tasks for the G20 became maybe even more difficult and complicated than it was in the beginning. So today within the year of Russia's Presidency we try to find new solutions, which are needed right now and which cannot be read in the books," - the Russian Sherpa said.

"This is why we put growth at the core of our agenda," - Ms. Yudaeva stated. - "And we have chosen our priorities accordingly: what the world can do in order to boost investments, what we can do to improve trust and transparency, how we can make our governmental regulations more efficient in order to create good environment for investment and growth. These topics are extremely important for the world to get out of this crisis."

The Russian Sherpa also emphasized the importance of engaging different communities into the discussion of the most pressing issues of the G20 agenda within outreach formats: "In order to stimulate investments we need to discuss these issues with business, we need to involve think tanks, we have to go to civil society and get to know their point of view on what needs to be done." She also stressed the importance of the G20 consultations with non-G20 countries, particularly with the developing ones, to consider their needs.

Looking forward to the G20 St.Petersburg Summit in September, the Russian Sherpa delineated the main focus areas where Russia hopes to reach agreement with partners, such as: continuation of monitoring of protectionism measures, trade facilitation, financing cross-border investment and identifying new strategies for countries with debt overhang on debt and deficits reduction. She also noted that in July 2013 for the first time in the G20's history Russia will convene a Joint Labor and Finance Ministers' Meeting, which would help to come up with particular action plans to support job creation.

"Today the G20 is not only a decision-making forum, but also an expert platform; its role has recently increased quite significantly," - Ksenia Yudaeva said. - "And Russia will do its best to organize the work in such a manner that will allow achieving tangible results from this expert platform, coming up with solutions which our Leaders will be able to endorse."

In her closing remarks Ms. Yudaeva noted that nowadays the financial market had become really global: "It means that the G20 has a significant role to play to conduct global policies for this global market. One of the reasons of the previous crisis was that we had a lack of global policies and the G20 will try to fill this gap."