By Ming Jinwei
The G20 summit, which opens Thursday in the United States, will be an important platform for major emerging and developed economies to coordinate actions to speed up world economic recovery.
It is hoped the meeting, to be held in the north-eastern city of Pittsburgh, will pave the way for a sustainable global economic recovery, find a common voice against protectionism and gather momentum to reform the international financial system.
Pittsburgh's moden waterfront has become a tourist attraction with its stadiums and arts centers.[China Daily]
The G20 summit, attended by leaders not only from major Western industrialized nations, but also by presidents and prime ministers from important emerging economies, has evolved into an effective and important platform for the international community to coordinate efforts in battling the financial crisis.
The first G20 Summit dealing with the economic crisis was held in Washington D.C. on Nov. 15, 2008 and the second in London in April, 2009.
At the Pittsburgh Summit, the international community should continue to strengthen coordination on macro economic policies and make more efforts to turn the initial signs of improvement in the world economy into a more sustainable global recovery.
The world economy has noticeably improved since the G20 London Summit, with increasing signs pointing to a possible recovery from the worst global economic downturn since World War II.
However, many believe the foundation of the recovery is rather shaky and substantial downward risks remain, with jobless rates in major Western nations soaring to new highs, private consumption remaining depressed, flow of credit improved but far from being normal and the prices of commodities fluctuating drastically.
Both developed nations and emerging economies should maintain their current macro economic policies and continue carrying out measures to promote growth.
Governments should be careful when talking about the so-called "exit strategy" some have suggested for scaling down growth support policy packages to avoid sending the wrong signals to markets and undermining the global recovery.
At the G20 Pittsburgh Summit, the international community should also fulfill its commitment to fighting protectionism, supporting free trade with concrete moves and helping negotiators conclude the Doha Round as soon as possible.
The G20 leaders vowed to fight protectionism as early as the Washington Summit and made the world believe they had learned from the ugly trade wars ensuing from the Great Depression in late 1920s and early 1930s.
It is unfortunate to see protectionist sentiments rising in many countries in the past few months. These pose a serious challenge to the fragile global economic recovery.
With protectionist measures in many G20 nations, the task of fighting protectionism has become even more urgent and important at the Pittsburgh Summit.
Meanwhile, the Doha Round was meant to build a new multi-lateral global trade framework. An early conclusion of the Round with comprehensive and balanced results will boost confidence and contribute to the global economic recovery.
The current crisis has exposed the inherent, systematic flaws of the global financial system and the international community should strive to improve their financial regulation to avoid similar catastrophes.
Meanwhile, G20 members, especially those developed ones, should fulfill their promises made at the first two summits to ensure expanded representation and voting rights for emerging economies and developing nations at international financial organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
As for improving the global monetary system, G20 nations should enhance cross border cooperation on financial regulation and crisis management.
The pay and bonus systems at banks and other financial institutions, which many see as at least partly responsible for the short-term, high-risk excessive speculation behavior that led to the crisis, should also be ditched.
An international surveillance system should be put in place to identify early and deal with the systematic risks within the global financial and monetary system.
As some have said, the once-in-a-hundred-year financial crisis could also provide a rare opportunity for international cooperation.
Unlike the Great Depression, when countries tried to contain the crisis with unilateral protectionist measures, cooperation and coordination have become the consensus of the international community when dealing with the current financial crisis.
The Pittsburgh Summit should carry this spirit on to lay a solid groundwork for the world economy to return to prosperity as soon as possible.
(Xinhua News Agency September 24, 2009)