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

Photogallery Ukraine: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid