HANGZHOU (China): China is poised to leave its imprint on the G20 process at the summit of major economies in the scenic city of Hangzhou on September 4-5. The 11th G20 summit aims at restoring global growth through new policy initiatives and enhanced macro-economic coordination among G20 economies. Ahead of the summit, nearly 800 business leaders of G20 countries will meet over the weekend and present a spectrum of ambitious initiatives to revitalise the global economy, which include developing a multilateral trading system, promoting green financing and creating a global electronic trade platform, known as the eWTP. The B20’s recommendations will be submitted to the G20 leaders ahead of their summit in Hangzhou on Sept 4 and 5, said Yu Ping, China’s chief representative in the B20. “With their strong economic foundation and political influence, G20 members are fully capable of making major breakthroughs in terms of reducing trade protectionism,” said Yu, China’s B20 sherpa.
Fast-tracking the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement will be a major focus area at the G20 summit, which will be attended by not just the leaders of G20 economies, but also a host of other countries, such as Egypt, Chad, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Spain, Laos and Thailand. India had ratified TFA in April. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Hangzhou for the G20 summit, and is expected to push for curbing trade protectionism and enhancing global growth through innovative initiatives.
eWTP: Jack Ma shows the way
The proposed construction of the eWTP is set to be a game-changer in accelerating global e-trade and the development of internet economy, a major focus area at the 11th G20 summit. Business 20 has recommended that the G20 leaders endorse the concept of eWTP for public-private dialogue to incubate cross-border e-trade rules and to make the policy and business environment more efficient for cross-border e-trade development, said Mr Yu.
“The B20 proposes to formally establish the eWTP as an open, transparent, not-for-profit platform,” said Mr Yu. “It will cooperate with international organizations such as the World Trade Organization to prioritize e-trade development needs and enhance e-trade articles in the Trade Facilitation Agreement.”
The eWTP is the brainchild of Jack Ma, chair of the B20’s SME development taskforce and chairman of the multi-billionaire dollar Alibaba Group. “The idea of an electronic world trade platform, eWTP, a mechanism for public-private dialogue in the development of crossborder e-trade, will improve the current trade framework and help small and medium-sized enterprises, developing countries, women and the young generation participate in the global economy,” Jack Ma. “It will also enlarge the size of the middle class and promote social stability and economic development.
Jack Ma has proposed that his company will pick two countries to run the test after the G20 Summit. “I hope Alibaba could run the first round of this network and give it to somebody that could follow up,” said Ma, who is also chair of the B20 SME Development Taskforce. “It will also bring investment and trade opportunities to countries that need to improve their infrastructure development, especially in the fields of telecommunication, logistics and services.”
The G20 summit is expected to result in concrete initiatives to curb protectionism and promote inclusive and green financing.
“It is important to remove existing obstacles, such as trade protectionism and the frequently launched trade remedy measures, in international trade. It would also be helpful to facilitate exchanges, reduce trade costs and improve infrastructure. In addition, a multilateral investment deal would be useful to make it easier to invest in developing countries,” said Ning Gaoning, chair of the B20’s trade and investment taskforce, and chairman of Sinochem Group.
(Manish Chand is Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network, an e-magazine and journal focused on international affairs and the India Story. He is Founder-CEO of New Delhi-based TGII Media Private Limited, a multi-media, publishing, research and consultancy company. He is in Hangzhou to report on and analyse the G20 summit).
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.
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