Change of focus
China and Brazil can cooperate to drive the G20 to provide more effective support for developing countries
On Sept 10, the 18th G20 summit concluded in New Delhi, India, with the G20 leaders committed to taking concrete actions to address global challenges. Amid the complex and turbulent international situation and sluggish global economy, the summit has shored up confidence in the global economic recovery and development.
At the summit, the African Union became a permanent member of the G20, marking a step forward for developing countries in global economic governance. Long challenged by its underrepresentation in global governance, Africa has been calling for an enhanced position as its influence grows stronger.
The expansion is the G20's answer to the trend, so as to propose global governance solutions that better meet the needs of Africa and developing countries. This will not only drive the development of African nations, but also accelerate the overall modernization of developing countries. Additionally, the inclusion of the African Union enhances the representation of G20 members, contributing to the group's legitimacy and governance effectiveness.
The New Delhi summit also made commitments to support developing countries in various ways. The G20 pledged to achieve sustainable development goals and called on developed countries to fully deliver on their respective official development assistance commitments and contribute to addressing the financing needs of developing countries.
The G20 committed to assisting developing countries in addressing climate change by facilitating low-cost financing to support their low-carbon transitions.
The G20 also pledged to support developing countries in addressing food security challenges, support them to move up the value chain, and enhance representation and the voice of developing countries in decision-making in global international economic and financial institutions.
However, many of these commitments were also mentioned in previous G20 summits. While some progress has been made, some commitments from advanced economies have not been delivered over the years. Moving forward, relevant countries should deliver on the outcomes agreed at the New Delhi summit to ensure that the support for developing countries is put into practice.
Developing countries are facing numerous challenges. Economic growth in emerging markets and developing countries are slowing down. Many nations are struggling with debt crises. Furthermore, severe delays in sustainable development goals have significantly impacted developing countries and the poorest, most vulnerable populations.
On Dec 1, Brazil will assume the presidency of the G20. China has consistently played a constructive role within the G20 and supports Brazil as the group's next chair. China views Brazil's presidency as an opportunity to strengthen the priority issues of developing countries within the G20 framework.
As the largest developing countries in the Eastern and Western hemispheres respectively, China and Brazil can cooperate to drive the G20 to provide more effective support for developing countries from the following perspectives.
First, promoting global economic recovery, which is a common need of all countries. As the rotating chair, Brazil faces economic growth pressures and the Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva administration has made stimulating economic growth one of its domestic priorities. China is a key economic growth driver, and it plays a crucial role in the world economy.
China and Brazil can work together to advance the G20 economic growth agenda. Within the framework of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, "strong "growth should be highlighted in order to spur development. At the same time, the G20 should enhance global coordination of macroeconomic policies to prevent negative impacts on developing countries due to policy spillovers from the advanced economies.
Second, stepping up the response to climate change. Both China and Brazil attach great importance to climate change. In April, the two countries issued the Brazil-China Joint Statement on Combating Climate Change, recognizing that climate change represents the greatest challenge of our time.
To further promote the G20's global climate governance, President Lula said that Brazil plans to set up a climate change working group. Adhering to the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, both China and Brazil stress that developed countries bear historical responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, and should respect the development rights and policy space of developing countries and provide funding to support developing countries to enhance their climate resilience.
Third, addressing global debt. Brazil experienced several debt crises historically and has accumulated a high level of public debt, therefore it highly values the resolution of international debt crises.
China and Brazil should work together to push for further implementation of the Common Framework for Debt Treatments and the Debt Service Suspension Initiative. Based on the principles of burden sharing and responsibility sharing, bilateral creditors, multilateral financial institutions and private creditors should be involved in debt treatments. Additionally, new debt restructuring and refinancing schemes should be explored to help developing countries tackle debt challenges.
Fourth, continuing to enhance global economic governance. As important representatives of emerging markets and developing countries, both China and Brazil actively promote the reform and improvement of global governance. Establishing a just and fair global governance order is also one of the key priorities of the Lula administration's foreign policy work.
Leveraging the G20 platform, China and Brazil should collaborate to drive governance structure reforms within international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, enhancing the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries. It is also necessary to call on international institutions to increase attention to issues concerning developing countries and to offer greater support in areas including economic growth, poverty reduction, financial stability, debt resolution and climate change.
The author is a senior research fellow and deputy director of the Global Governance Division at the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the director of the Department of Global Economic Studies at the National Institute for Global Strategy at the CASS. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.
Contact the editor at email@example.com.