Preparing for G-20 Summit

G-20 vice finance ministers and deputy governors of central banks meet in Incheon to thrash out agenda for G-20 Summit














G-20 member countries vice finance ministers and central bank deputy governors gathered at Songdo Conventia in Incheon on Feb. 27-28 to discuss the reform of the world economic order following the global economic crisis, the Ministry of Finance said Feb. 28.
The meeting was a prelude to the G-20 Summit scheduled for Nov. 11-12 in Seoul, which will be presided over jointly by Shin Je-yoon, deputy minister for International Financial Affairs at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, and Rhee Gwang-ju, deputy governor of the Bank of Korea with some 150 delegates expected to be in attendance.
The participants also included delegations from seven international organizations such as the IMF, World Bank, OECD and FSB, to join the delegations from G-20 member nations.
The two-day event dealt with such matters as the evaluation of the world economic crisis as it heads toward recovery and a review of subjects agreed at the G-20 Finance Ministers?Meeting last year.
On the morning of Feb. 27, the participants discussed exit strategies and ways to solve the international trade imbalance, the establishment of a financial safety net and the reform of the global financial structure.
On Feb. 28, they discussed the reform of financial regulations, reductions and removal of subsidies for energy, support for the financially downtrodden and the creation of funds for coping with climate change.
But as expected, the participants did not see eye to eye on a number of important subjects affecting either advanced nations or emerging countries.
On matters related to solving trade imbalances, countries with trade surpluses and countries suffering from trade deficits, especially the United States and China, engaged in intensive discussions over the exchange rates of their currencies. The U.S. delegates, whose nation has a substantial trade deficit with China, asked Chinese delegates to devalue the yuan, while Chinese delegates said their currency is not undervalued.
Matters related to transferring stakes in the IMF and World Bank to the newly-emerging countries and the subject that Korea has been pushing, such as the establishment of a global financial safety net, ran into opposition from advanced nations including those in Europe that don't feel comfortable with further upgrading the statuses of the newly-emerging nations.
U.S. President Obama's plan to strengthen the financial regulations for large U.S. financial institutions have not found universal support among advanced and emerging countries and even among advanced nations in the EU.
As it was the first event related to the upcoming G-20 Summit, the MOSF listened to what they had to say during the meeting and collected various opinions and initiatives rather than seeking agreements or making joint statements.
On Feb. 28, the second day of the gathering, the steering group opened its session to discuss the direction of the adoption of the agenda for the November G-20 Summit and the schedule for their next meeting. The steering group consisted of vice finance ministers from Britain, Korea, France, the United States and Canada, all of whom represent either former chair nations or upcoming chair nations and host countries.
The meeting had five subsections based on the issue notes prepared by the MOSF, with Korea the chair nation for the November G-20 Summit. The issue notes contain a summary of outstanding global economic and financial issues recommended to be dealt with at the G-20 Summit.
The steering group, which was a closed session, played a very important role by checking the progress of issues addressed at the gathering and how the future schedule of the vice financial ministers meeting should be drawn up.
The future schedule of G-20 related meetings include a workshop in Shanghai, China, on April 30, another G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in the United States on April 23 followed by a G-20 finance ministers/deputy ministers and central bank governors/deputy governors gathering on June 3 prior to the G-20 Summit on June 26-27 in Canada. nw

A view of the G-20 Finance and Central Bank Deputies's Meeting at Songdo Conventia in Incheon on Feb. 27-28.

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