High-level Consultation on the G20 Seoul Summit: Perspectives from Asia-Pacific

25 Oct 2010 to 26 Oct 2010
Bangkok, Thailand

In the face of the most severe economic crisis in recent decades, a major achievement of the G20 was to facilitate an unprecedented degree of macroeconomic policy cooperation that led to large fiscal stimulus packages and the aggressive easing of monetary stances. Moving beyond crisis response, the G20 has recently brought its attention to issues concerning the long-term growth and development of the world economy, recognizing that “narrowing the development gap and reducing poverty are integral to our broader objective of achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth and ensuring a more robust and resilient global economy for all.” [1]

The Seoul Summit in November 2010 was the first G20 Summit to be held in Asia and in a non-G8 country. As the chair and host, the Government of the Republic of Korea emphasized the need for the G20 to address the needs of the emerging and developing world and proposed to conduct a process of consultation with a wide constituency of nations, including those that are not members of the G20.[2] In this regard, at the 66th session of the ESCAP Commission in May 2010 “the Commission suggested that the secretariat, given its expertise in the economic and social development of the Asia-Pacific region, could make a valuable contribution by bringing a non-G20 perspective to the summit”. [3]

Across the Asia-Pacific region, the global financial and economic crisis has had wide-ranging impacts. Although the region managed to avoid the scenario of a major economic contraction due to the timely implementation of monetary and fiscal stimulus policies and its prudential approach to macroeconomic management, the crisis revealed the existence of major imbalances – macroeconomic, social, developmental – in the region's business-as-usual approach to development which will need to be corrected to preserve its long-term growth. However, as argued in the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2010 , the correction of those imbalances can provide new engines of growth and help articulate a policy agenda to support the region long-run's economic and social development. The new engines of growth include the region's close to 1 billion poor who, if lifted from poverty, could provide an enormous boost not only to the region but also to the global economy.

ESCAP's high-level consultation on the G20 Seoul Summit is expected to facilitate both G20 and non-G20 members from the Asia-Pacific region to provide their perspectives on key policies to narrow development gaps and reduce poverty as means to ensure a more robust and resilient global economy for all. The meeting will take place in Bangkok on 25 - 26 October 2010 and it will count with the participation of experts and high-level government officials from ESCAP member states. The outcome document of the high-level consultation was communicated to the G20 Chair.

The high-level consultation started by taking stock of the Asia-Pacific region's recovery from the crisis. Then policy-oriented discussions will be framed under the three broad areas below – with particular emphasis on the priorities of LDCs, LLDCs and SIDCs, the achievement of the MDGs, and narrowing the region's development gaps:

Sustaining growth and preventing crises
Narrowing developing gaps and enhancing financial inclusion
Strengthening financial regulations and the global financial architecture
The aim of the high-level consultation is to develop broad principles and concrete policy recommendations that can be put forward to the G20, based on common themes identified from experiences in the Asia-Pacific region.