What to expect at the G20 summit

By UM News

What to expect at the G20 summit

By UM News
Paulo Leme, a lecturer in the Miami Business School, provides his insights into the G20 summit, taking place in Argentina.

The G20 meetings take place in Argentina Friday and Saturday. The annual summit brings together leaders, foreign ministers, and finance ministers, and the group typically seeks to address policy around international financial stability. 

Paulo Leme, a lecturer in the University of Miami Business School and former head of Goldman Sachs Group in Brazil, provides insights into the summit for News@TheU

What is the purpose of the G-20 meetings, and which country stands to benefit most?

The G20 is the main forum for the political leaders for the world's largest economies. This includes the European Union and Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The purpose is to have a forum where global political leaders can discuss policies that can lead to financial stability, stronger growth, employment, poverty reduction, and other key challenges, including the environment and climate change. No single country benefits the most, with the main beneficiary being the global community as a whole.

What would be the biggest surprise to come out of the G-20 meetings?

One of the main items in the agenda will be to discuss trade policy. The agenda being proposed by the IMF is for G20 members to avoid new trade barriers, reverse recent tariff increases, and modernize the global trading system. Notwithstanding the meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jingping, it would be a big surprise to see any statement coming out of the meeting regarding a trade deal between the U.S. and China. This is unfortunate, because if there is one single policy decision that can safeguard global growth, calm financial markets, and ensure financial stability is a multilateral commitment from G20 members toward free trade. 

Trump has opposed multilateral deals in the past. Do you expect that to continue at this G20?

Yes, this has been his policy guideline throughout his administration and it is likely to continue. We may see some goodwill and positive signals, but the G20 summit would not be the forum where President Trump would strike a groundbreaking trade deal.

Will holding the G-20 meetings in Argentina help raise the profile and importance of Latin American markets in the world economy? Will there be a bump for Latin America out of this? 

Given the multilateral nature of the G20, member countries rotate the responsibility for hosting preparatory meetings and the G20 summit itself. The impact of the G20 summit in Latin America will be negligible.

That said, the summit will help the Argentine government to report progress in its stabilization program with the International Monetary Fund.