News / Asia

    G20, APEC Summits Will Turn World Focus to Asia This Month

    Women walk by a screen showing a G20 Seoul Summit sign at the venue for the upcoming summit meeting, scheduled November 11-12 in Seoul, South Korea, 02 Nov 2010
    Women walk by a screen showing a G20 Seoul Summit sign at the venue for the upcoming summit meeting, scheduled November 11-12 in Seoul, South Korea, 02 Nov 2010

    The U.S. and Chinese presidents will be among the leaders at two high-profile economic summits in Asia in November. South Korea hosts the Group of 20 forum for the world's largest economies, which will aim to avoid a trade war that could send the global economy into reverse. Immediately following the G20, many of the leaders head to Japan for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, to discuss increasing trade in the world's most dynamic economic region.

    The G20 leaders will be expected to affirm agreements drafted less than a month ago by their finance chiefs. They promised to avoid a damaging round of competitive currency depreciations. China accuses the United States, however, of already violating the spirit of the pledge by printing excess dollars, which Beijing says contributes to Chinese inflation. Washington accuses Beijing of keeping its currency artificially weak.

    The G20 also will consider setting specific targets for trade balances - something the U.S. and South Korea advocate - but of which China, Japan and Germany are skeptical.

    Sohn Jie-Ae, the spokeswoman for the G20 summit, acknowledges concerns about the group's relevance if it cannot maintain cohesion. "So the question becomes: can it continue to deliver even when the global economy is not in a crisis mode? So there is that pressure on this G20 leaders' summit."

    Even if significant agreements are reached, though, it is not clear they will hold. Regardless, Sohn points up that the group was not designed to be an enforcer, noting such leaders' meetings rarely are.

    "When 20 leaders sit around the table you do not put anything in a communiqué that all 20 leaders have not agreed on - every syllable, every spelling is agreed upon by 20 countries," said Sohn. "So while there is no enforcer that will go around and make sure you abide by the rules, it was something that was agreed on together." And that, Sohn said, leads to peer pressure to keep the pledges.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as she began her latest tour of Asia, noted the value of such meetings to advance free trade. "So, we are working through APEC, the G-20, and our bilateral relationships to advocate for more open markets, fewer restrictions on exports, more transparency, and an overall commitment to fairness."  

    Others have low expectations for the summits. Dan Ikenson is the associate director of the Center for Trade Policy Studies at the pro-trade Cato Institute in Washington. He said, "Very rarely does anything concrete come out of them. So, it's just an opportunity for trade policy wonks, security policy wonks, and media to get together and … blow out of proportion what these meetings are all about."

    Economists and political analysts say the G20 likely will be deemed a success if it manages to contain the currency spat and affirms a declaration on reducing trade imbalances. Those experts say the APEC summit is unlikely to accomplish anything more than small steps toward its goal of regional economic integration.

    You May Like

    S. African Farmer Goes From 'Voice in the Wilderness' to Sought-After Expert

    Margarest Roberts has authored more than 40 books on subjects like organic farming, urban agriculture, herbs and ‘superfoods'

    Millennial Men Prefer Bucks Over Beauty

    U.S. men aged 18 to 34 say the finances of a potential significant other are more important than her looks

    Multimedia Lebanese Clown Troupe Marks Valentine's Day Amid Stink

    Activists resort to unusual approaches to raise public awareness of country’s ongoing trash crisis

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.