G20 to meet in Sydney as IMF warn the global recovery is weak

Thursday, 20 February 2014  Features

“The G20 meeting in Sydney has real relevance now the International Monetary Fund has commented that the risk of turmoil in emerging markets and deflation in Europe are threatening the global economic recovery,” said Tim Harcourt, the JW Neville Fellow in Economics at UNSW’s Australian School of Business.

The Sydney G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting will be held over the weekend of 22-23 February 2014. Senior academics from the Australian School of Business are available to give their analysis of the talks, as ministers discuss the creation of economic growth and new employment in both developed and emerging economies.

The warning from the IMF that significant downside risks remain comes as top finance officials from the Group of 20 industrialised and developing nations meet to discuss the trimming back of the US e​​conomic stimulus program, and the impact of the World Trade Organisation.

Tim Harcourt said “the G20 probably recogn​ise the WTO is as dead as a ‘Doha’, and so I argue the G20 should put trade at the heart of deliberations of a push for global growth. We need a globally focused multilateral push for trade talks to kick start the global economy. If we don’t, we risk trade blocs and a spaghetti bowl of over lapping discriminatory agreements.”

He says the G20 needs to ensure stability in the financial system as well. “The G20 will be looking at taking a broader role in working with the IMF to ensure economic stability. This is to avoid a worst case scenario whereby trade protection and unfettered capital flows weaken domestic financial institutions.”

Tim Harcourt said that at least the G20 recognises the diversity of the world economy, and the importance of the emerging economies. “It gives some new economic stars like Australia, Brazil and South Korea a major say, which is a big boost for Australia. The G20 has taken the place of the G7 thanks to a big push from Australia which wanted a wider world stage and to change the hegemony of US centric talks. The world is not dominated by the G7 as it was a few years ago.”

Other academics also available to comment on the G20 include the Director of the Institute of Global Finance, Professor Fariborz Moshirian from UNSW, who said “Australia should also ensure difficult issues such as trade imbalances between China and the US will be raised.”

Plus Honorary Professor Raja Junankar from the Industrial Relations Research Centre at UNSW, who said “most of the countries of the OECD are still suffering from the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, and this is likely to be the focus of much of the talks at the G20.”

For further details contact
Fariborz Moshirian on 02 9385 5859 or Email f.moshirian@unsw.edu.au
Raja Junankar on 0416 511 694, or Email raja.junankar@unsw.edu.au
Tim Harcourt on 02 9385 3816, 0408 485 479, or Email tim.harcourt@unsw.edu.au.

Media contact:
Julian Lorkin: 02 9385 9887