Seoul heaves sigh of relief after G20
Three days of summits involving political leaders and CEOs from 20 emerging and leading economies is now over.
As is the case with any big global event, the just-ended G20 summits have left many heaving a sigh of relief and others regretting some blown opportunities.
Certainly, Seoulites appear to be happy to see the streets back to normal, perhaps feeling a bit proud to have brought the G20 summits to an end without any major disturbances. They have endured a great deal of inconvenience.
Big-name CEOs also did their best to have their voices heard in important areas such as new global financial orders as well as green growth initiatives.
It remains to be seen how many of their suggestions will be taken up by political leaders, who were busy defending the interests of their respective countries. In a nutshell, the Seoul summit was building up to be a clash of the titans ― the old guard and a new power. The old guard is represented by the United States and European countries, while the new power is China.
Despite the smooth language in the communique thrashed out at the end of the summit, it is inevitable that the two sides are bound to clash. That is the power of history that somehow has moved mankind forward despite the occasional hiccups.
In this sense, France, the next host of the G20 summit, will be the next battleground.
Also seen through the short history of the G20 setting, which gained prominence through global efforts to overcome the financial crisis triggered by the U.S. subprime mortgage situation, has shown its usefulness as a key forum.
It is always better to talk than not to talk. G20 summits have served that purpose, which alone proves they should continue. President Lee Myung-bak, as chairman of the summit, has shown a Korean leader can be a global leader. Remember his threat veiled in a joke during the meeting of financial ministers and central bankers last month ― “you may never leave unless a consensus is reached.”