A change in perspective needed

By Fan Yongming and Shen Chen
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, September 4, 2013
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While the IMF's quota reform is proceeding according to a general time schedule, there are more uncertainties about the future of the multilateral trading system, as the protracted Doha Round has resulted in some countries being disappointed with the WTO. In order to break the deadlock of the Doha Round and revitalize the multilateral trading system, Roberto Azevedo, the new director-general of the WTO, is trying to push members to finalize an "early harvest" package in trade facilitation, agriculture, export competition. The US and other developed countries should give up their selfish interests and adopt a supportive attitude toward this early harvest package.

Regional cooperation issues closely related to the evolution of the multilateral trading system are also likely to be on the agenda at the summit. Developing countries hope that the regional economic cooperation negotiations dominated by the US and other developed countries, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, will not have exclusive clauses and rules under the pretext of building a "comprehensive and high-standard" free trade area so as to ensure the openness, transparency, fairness and inclusive development of various regional economic cooperation mechanisms.

The G20 is essentially a stage for dialogue and consultation, a stage on which the G7 and the BRICS countries are very compelling. It is noteworthy that it has become routine for the leaders of the BRICS countries to hold informal meetings to coordinate their positions on the sidelines of major international gatherings and in doing so they have enjoyed some remarkable achievements. This time, President Xi Jinping will attend an informal meeting with other leaders of the BRICS countries. After the G20 summit, Xi will go to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan. These initiatives show from different perspectives the efforts of emerging countries to strengthen multilevel, all-dimensional unity and cooperation to enable developing countries' interests to be embodied and respected in global economic governance reforms.

The St. Petersburg gathering will be the debut for China's new leadership at a G20 summit. A stable and prosperous China is indispensable for a brighter global economic outlook and much attention will be on how committed they are to further opening-up and reform. The State Council's official approval of the establishment of the Shanghai free trade area has attracted worldwide attention, and there is every reason to believe that the St. Petersburg summit will once again highlight China.

The authors are researchers with the Center for BRICS Studies, Fudan University.



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