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China poised to play crucial role at G20 summit, says Argentine expert

Updated: Aug 10,2016 2:58 PM     Xinhua

Photo taken on May 24, 2016 shows a music fountain in West Lake in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province. Hangzhou is the host city for the 2016 G20 summit on Sept. 4 and Sept. 5. With one month to go, Hangzhou looks forward to G20. [Photo/Xinhua]

BUENOS AIRES — China is poised to play a “crucial” role at the upcoming summit of G20 leaders in Hangzhou, serving to guide talks aimed at jump-starting the world economy, according to a leading Argentine economist.

“Important and powerful conflicting interests coexist within the G20,” said Gustavo Girado, head of the Buenos Aires-based consulting firm Asia & Argentina.

“While most of its members seem to agree on the need to spur the global economy, it is not at all apparent whether they agree on how to go about it, so they can take joint measures. In that sense, China plays a crucial role and it appears to have taken due note of it,” Girado said.

In the lead up to the Sept 4-5 summit in China’s eastern city of Hangzhou, Girado published his views on Aug 10 in local financial daily BAE.

China’s interests, said Girado, are more than ever linked to the progress of its partners, even small ones. It could cost this great economy a lot if its partners face economic and political limitations.

With that in mind, China will host the meeting with a willingness to rearrange core interests in the institutional and economic matters that gave rise to the G20, without losing sight of the fact that times have changed significantly since then, said Girado.

In Fortaleza, Brazil in 2014, the BRICS bloc of emerging economies -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, all members of the G20 -- expressed their shared discontent with the existing multilateral lending institutions, which had already come under fire for, among other things, serving the interests of the developed nations at the expense of developing countries.

In a joint declaration, BRICS countries said they were “disappointed and seriously concerned” that reforms to the International Monetary Fund that had been agreed on back in 2010 had been almost totally disregarded.

China decided to set a proactive agenda to channel the group’s demands, leading to the creation of new banking mechanisms to finance infrastructure projects, said Girado.

This new form of financing serves collaterally as a financial security net for Argentina and other developing countries, so they can better tackle the risks of international capital flows and financial turbulence, he added.

“Cooperation to promote innovation and encourage individual initiative ... require improving the existing means of coordination, and that includes supporting a multilateral trade system,” Girado said.