by Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan for the Saker blog
• After the breakout of COVID-19, which has engulfed the whole world and even superpowers like the US became the worst victim, the awareness of the global health system got the highest priority. Today the biggest global challenge is health. There is a dire need to strengthen world health systems, it is expected to help improve global COVID-19 response and facilitate the transformation of global health infrastructure, and contribute to making health systems more resilient, inclusive, equitable, and crisis-responsive.
• Global economy is facing unprecedented challenges, whether it is due to the Pandemic, Ukraine Crisis, unilateral sanctions, or political turmoil, but, everyone is a victim of the current economic crisis. There is an urgent need to address all possible issues damaging the global economy and need to formulate policies and practical measures to revive it immediately.
• Geopolitics are tense and facing uncertainty, which is a matter of grieve concern for humankind. Middle East, South China Sea, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Latin America, or any other part of the world, if tension exists, it harms the whole of humankind. Uncertainty prevails everywhere, people cannot focus on developments, rather confused and worried about the future. For development, conducive environments are pre-requisite, and enabling circumstances are required.
• Climate change is a global issue and has been impacting everyone. Some of the nations have suffered a lot whereas some are less, but, it is a matter of time and their turn may become soon. It is almost desired that climate change must be given due priority as it severe impact on some countries. For example, in the case of Pakistan, this year, the areas with 50 mm of annual rainfall have received sudden heavy rains reaching 1700 mm within a few weeks and causing heavy floods. Around one-third of the country was under water, damaging crops, houses, infrastructure, and communication systems, and loss of human lives and cattle. Approximately, 35 million people suffered, and the estimated economic loss was in three digits. The magnitude of the disaster was beyond the capacity of Pakistan and international assistance was sought. It is not only Pakistan, it might happen to some other nations. Climate change has no borders and can happen any time anywhere, without alarm in advance. It is desired that climate change must be addressed immediately.
The 17th Group of 20 (G20) Summit
It is scheduled to take place in Bali Indonesia from 15-16 November 2022 (Tuesday to Wednesday), where the global leaders are going to meet and discuss the above-mentioned challenges and try their best to address all of them. It will also mark the first face-to-face meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping since Biden became president. President Biden is due to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bali and aims to discuss a range of contentious issues, including tensions over Taiwan, human rights, the war in Ukraine, and North Korea’s nuclear program. It is expected to build global consensus and bolster confidence in handling global challenges.
A two-day Business 20 (B20) Summit 2022 is held in Bali, Indonesia, bringing together global business leaders to make policy recommendations to the G20 to address key challenges for businesses around the world. Known as the business arm of the G20, the B20 is the official G20 dialogue forum for the global business community. The summit is organized by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN Indonesia) at the behest of the Government of Indonesia, which holds the current G20 Presidency. It brought together over 3,300 people, including 2,000 global heads of state, CEOs, and business leaders from multinational corporations in over 40 countries – representing over 6.5 million businesses. In addition to the Summit, more than 130 sideline events have been organized by B20 partners, gathering more than 8,000 participants.
The theme for this year’s summit is ‘Advancing Innovative, Inclusive, and Collaborative Growth’. The B20 aims to achieve this by making policy recommendations to G20 countries on 7 key policy areas, including trade & investment; energy, sustainability, & climate; digitalization; finance & infrastructure; future of work & education; integrity & compliance and women in business. B20 Indonesia has made 25 recommendations for the G20 to consider, across three key priorities:
1) Prioritize innovation to unlock post-pandemic growth;
2) empower MSMEs and vulnerable groups; and,
3) support increased collaboration between developed and developing countries.
M. Arsjad Rasjid P. M., Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN Indonesia), said “It is our great hope that this year’s B20 Summit will find consensus and common cause on priority causes, so as to move forward on a united front. Now more than ever, the voices of global business are called upon to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth for the future.”
Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, Chair of B20 Indonesia, said “At a time when we face unique challenges as a planet, and geopolitical tensions run high, the global business community has a significant role to play: we must come together, and prioritize inclusive, collaborative, and innovative growth.”
The B20 Presidency is supported by prominent Indonesian CEOs who led the preparation of the recommendations to the G20. It is also guided by a group of international business leaders from top companies in G20 countries, called the International Advocacy Caucus. The caucus includes leaders such as Tony Blair and Elon Musk, and together its members assist the B20 leadership with its agenda and priorities, providing valuable insight.
Agenda of G-20 Summit
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the world economy, and developing economies have suffered greater losses than developed ones, Suryono said, adding that the growing gap between developing and developed economies is widening.
The global economy is susceptible to multiple impacts, one of which is exerted by soaring inflation in a number of countries, both rich and poor. The acute spillover effects of aggressive interest rate hikes by some developed economies have destabilized the global financial market and put emerging markets and developing countries under enormous pressure.
In October, the International Monetary Fund adjusted the projected global economic growth for 2023 to 2.7 percent, down by 0.2 percentage points from its previous forecast in July.
“Today we need international cooperation more than ever. I think what has to be taken to this G20 is a positive approach by leaders that is prepared to engage on these issues in a constructive way,” Drysdale said.
Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said during this year’s general debate of the UN General Assembly that the whole world is pinning their hope on the G20 as a catalyst for global economic recovery, especially for developing countries. “We cannot let global recovery fall at the mercy of geopolitics.”
Role of China
As the world’s second-largest economy and the largest developing country, China supports the G20 in playing a leading role in addressing global challenges and improving global economic governance and calls for an increased representation and a strengthened voice of developing countries in international affairs.
“China has done tremendous as far as building capacities inside their own country and also helping the developing world to overcome the lack of capacities and building desired infrastructures to meet the challenges of the pandemic,” Deepak said.
“I think China will continue to call upon the G20 leaders to build these capacities and to put concentrated efforts in building the kind of health infrastructure it is required,” he said.
In the eyes of Kiyoyuki Seguchi, research director at Japan’s Canon Institute for Global Studies, China adheres to the right course of economic globalization.
“China is committed to working with other countries to foster an international environment conducive to development and create new drivers for global growth,” Seguchi said.
China extends support for G-20 Summit
China supports Indonesia in playing its role as the president of the Group of 20 (G20) and expects the upcoming G20 summit to contribute to global COVID-19 response, economic recovery, and food and energy security, a senior Chinese diplomat said Thursday.
Vice foreign minister Ma Zhaoxu said China supports the theme of “Recover Together, Recover Stronger” of the summit, which will be held in Bali in November. Ma made the remarks at a press conference held on the sidelines of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
“We hope that the G20 summit will play an active and constructive role in such areas as strengthening international cooperation on COVID-19 response, promoting the world economic recovery, and ensuring global food and energy security,” Ma said.
As a G20 member, China has been taking an active part in international economic cooperation and global economic governance, and working with other parties to propel strong global growth that is sustainable, balanced, and inclusive, he added.
The analyst believes in the importance of this summit and expects some major breakthroughs later on. It might prove the first step in confidence building and understanding each other. It is expected that the Chinese and the US president might overcome some of the differences and diffuse the geopolitical tension. The remaining differences might be resolved in the follow-ups.
If differences between China and the US narrow downs, the South China Sea, Asia, and the region may become the hub of rapid economic activities and contribute toward the revival of the global economy. It may also benefit the US in return too.
If the US give-up it anti-China campaign and instead cooperates, may transform the situation into a win-win for all and a global win-win. As China has no aggressive designs against the US and just focusing on its own peaceful rise, may be understood by President Bidden after having face to face meeting with President Xi.
Ukraine crisis may be the center place during this summit and a consensus-based solution may be sorted out satisfying all parties involved.
Deterioration of the global economy has a direct impact on developing nations and they are wishing to avail this opportunity to remove major hurdles and create an environment of peace, stability, and trust among all nations.
Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, and Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: [email protected]).