Friday, February 15, 2013

Is There a Better Way Than the G20?

The G20 finance ministers are meeting in Moscow to look at economic growth issues. The G20 leaders will meet in St. Petersburg, Russia in September.

Does anyone outside a small circle even notice?

It's great that key officials from these major economies meet regularly, but can they accomplish much?

The global economy is inter-connected and inter-dependent, yet local politics and interests often water down what the G20 can do on a global basis.

Moises Naim has a good piece in the Financial Times noting that individual countries cannot tackle global issues alone, but their ability to work with others often is hampered locally.  We see this regularly when the G20 discusses policy issues.

I like Naim's suggestion of "minilateralism" as a way forward.

Naim suggests gathering the minimum number of countries necessary to affect positive change on a particular issue and have them develop a global solution.

We're seeing this with willing countries coming together to negotiate a major agreement to open markets for services, building on progress made during the WTO's failed Doha Round.

This approach also will work at the state and local level.

Yes, those who oppose change will attack Naim's "minilateralism" with complaints of elitism or exclusion.

My view: If you want to have a say in the solution, take a seat at the table instead of sitting on the sidelines and throwing stones.

Moises Naim is onto something.

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