As Group of 8 leaders meet in the seaside resort of Deauville in northern France, most Asian leaders’ eyes are focused on the Group of 20 summit meeting planned for Nov. 3 and 4 in Cannes, which is expected to grapple with how to set the global economy and its wobbling recovery on a more sustainable and balanced path to growth. Since the economic meltdown of 2008, as far as many Asian leaders are concerned, the G-8 has been supplanted as a forum for discussing global issues by the broader G-20, which includes the emerging-market economies of China, India, Indonesia and Brazil and, all told, represents 85 percent of the world’s economy and two-thirds of its population.
“We believe that there is a growing consensus in the international community that the G-20 is an appropriate, effective forum to deal with a variety of challenges facing today’s global economy,” said Oh Joon, South Korea’s ambassador to Singapore. “Many of these issues, including global economic imbalances and international monetary cooperation, warrant engagement of both advanced and emerging economies, which can be provided by the G-20,” he said. “In fact, the G-20 leaders designated the G-20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation at their Pittsburgh summit in September 2009.”
He continued: “As for the G-8, it is not proper for a non-G-8 country to discuss its future. But we understand that there will not be much of an overlap between the agendas of the two forums. For example, at the upcoming summits at Cannes, the G-20 will continue its deliberations on international macroeconomic cooperation, reform of the international monetary system, development cooperation, etc., while the G-8 is likely to have on its agenda issues such as the Fukushima nuclear accident, the role of the Internet, and development partnership with African countries.”