By Wang Wen Source: Shanghai Daily Published: 2015-11-24
About 16,000 people took part in International Trailwalk in Hangzhou on Sunday to celebrate the city’s selection to host the G20 summit next year. The September 2015 meeting of world leaders will be themed “Building an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy.”
HANGZHOU will have the honor of hosting the Group of 20 summit next year, and planning for the meeting of world leaders requires a lot of creative thinking.
Thinking, in fact, is an important element in G20 policy. The world’s 20 biggest economies have formed an official arm called Think 20, which serves as a sort of “ideas bank” for member governments.
The Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University of China serves as the representative of China’s think tanks. It has been appointed to coordinate Think 20 activities at next year’s summit. In preparation, Chongyang representatives attended the G20 summit in Turkey earlier this month.
Wang Wen, executive director of Chongyang, recently sat down with the Chinese-language Hangzhou Daily to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the summit here next year. The following are translated highlights of that interview.
Q: Your institute was among the first to recommend hosting the G20 summit in China? Can you explain why?
A: When we held a Think 20 forum in 2013, we saw 2016 as a big opportunity for China. Professor Chen Yulu, then director of Chongyang and the current vice president of the People’s Bank of China, submitted a proposal for hosting the G20 summit to central authorities. The contents of that proposal were published in People’s Daily and the Global Times in April 2014. That was considered the first suggestion that the summit be held here in 2016.
We were invited to the G20 summit in Turkey, where we participated in preparatory planning. We want the 2016 G20 summit to be the best ever.
Q: You said at the 2014 G20 summit in Brisbane that China is changing the world for the second time. What did you mean by that?
A: At the Brisbane summit, President Xi Jinping proposed that all countries should be committed to building a fair, just, inclusive and orderly international financial system. He envisioned enhancing the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries, and ensuring that all countries enjoy equal rights and equal opportunities under equal rules in international economic cooperation.
However, developed countries largely control the global economy, often hindering the interests of developing countries.
Along with China’s economic growth and contributions to the world, its status as global leader needs to be boosted. That process is never smooth. But now, the G20 provides China with a favorable platform. It can be a window between China and the world and also an opportunity to reduce misunderstandings between China and other countries.
Q: What kind of effective role can a G20 summit play in influencing the course of the global economy? What progress do you expect to see?
A: First of all, such a summit should be committed to enhancing dynamic economic growth. At present, the foundation for a global recovery is not stable. Many economies have grown stagnant, and growth in emerging economies is slowing. Financial markets face new risks.
Secondly, the structure of the world economy needs to be optimized through technological innovation. Creating a fair and orderly financial system requires the participation of both developed and developing countries.
Thirdly, the global trading system needs to be open and operate in the interests of all countries. Therefore, we need to persevere with multilateral trade systems in the Asia-Pacific area and integrate those systems into global trade.
Q: The G20 summit will be the largest international conference ever held in Hangzhou. What does that mean for the city?
A: Hangzhou has become an international, dynamic city of innovation and investment. Alongside vibrant growth, we have maintained the beauty of the natural environment in places like West Lake and the Xixi Wetland. We have a lot to be proud of and a lot to show world leaders who come here.
We cannot ignore the influence of the G20 summit. Global leaders will gather to discuss serious issues. Hosting such an elite meeting will focus a worldwide spotlight on Hangzhou. We must seize the opportunity to make the most of it.
Preparation for the summit will involve new infrastructure. The meeting also will underscore the city’s efforts to modernize industry and tap creative thinking for entrepreneurship.
Q: What does the city need to do to spruce up its image ahead of the summit?
A: Hangzhou is a classic “watertown” city and a symbol of China’s modern economic development. We need to showcase these aspects.
We should create in this city the environment and infrastructure for hosting many international conferences beyond the G20 summit. For that, we need to attract professional talent, both domestic and foreign, and encourage innovative thinking at all levels.