G20 summit turning point for growth
By Lee Kyeong-lae
The usual itinerary of such a summit for the heads of states is no longer than two days at the maximum, but the itinerary is scheduled to be one day longer in Seoul as APEC summit is to be convened in Yokohama, Japan, the day after the G20 summit. Yet, it still is a very short trip to Seoul.
The G20 was a rather abrupt response to deal with the global economic crisis which originated from the Wall Street in 2008.
And thus, there seems to be few doubts cast upon the efficacy of the meeting itself since the global crisis is still ongoing.
Although the G7 or the G8 meetings were often criticized for its inefficiency in making progress reaching agreements, much less the implementation of such agreements, the G20 has made some meaningful developments.
So far, it appears that the G20 has successfully dodged the widespread sarcasm that it will just become yet another round table for a “Feast of Rhetoric.”
The G20 has made a successful debut placing itself as a premier forum to discuss global economy, at the very least.
This special occasion is very important to Korea.
Korea was not among G7 or G8, nor was it considered as a possible candidate when a discussion to expand the summit to G14 or G15.
China and Japan, whose membership is taken for granted considering their influence over global economy, both belong to the Northeast Asian region and thus extending possible candidacy to Korea, yet another country from the Northeast Asia, would’ve had very little ground. This is exactly why the G20 is especially important for Korea.
Momentum for the future G20 can be achieved through the successful completion and the noteworthy progress to be made in this summit in Seoul.
Many of agendas dealt in four preliminary G20 meetings earlier this year have been postponed to the Seoul meeting, forecasting a rather turbulent process in Seoul.
However, if agreements are to be reached at the Seoul summit despite the anticipated obstacles, the role and national prestige of Korea will undoubtedly stand out.
There have been lots of discussions so as to institutionalize permanent forums instead of ad hoc meetings, and the so-called the Business Summit was one of them.
The Business Summit is a forum in which 120 CEOs of the global companies gather for discussions and to submit the results of such discussions to the heads of states.
The G20 is likely to continue if France, the subsequent host country for the G20, consents. It is the wish of Korea to institutionalize such significant gathering as ongoing process rather than a one-time occasion.
Our government has a duty to disseminate the importance of the occasion to the public in Korea, although it is more difficult to induce enthusiasm and support from our people considering the nature of the upcoming event seems rather dull compared with that of Olympic Games or World Cup soccer event.
Nonetheless, we hope that Koreans would exhibit hospitality and mature individual consciousness as sound citizens to the visitors to the G20, enhancing better understanding and placing positive images of Korea to the world.
Considered as one of the major national events in Korea’s history, the G20 Seoul Summit has become the buzz word among Koreans.
Although it is unlikely to witness immediate ripple effects from the G20, majority of Koreans seem to be in consent with our government’s statement that the national image can be significantly enhanced only by the fact that the heads of states from 20 most powerful nations in the world, along with many leading CEO’s of global corporations as participants.
Many Koreans have high expectation over the meeting to bring about the 30 trillion Korean won worth of economic boost (as forecasted by the Korea International Trade Association).
On the other hand, however, there are some skeptical responses present in Korea.
And there are also cautious commentators, pointing out the importance of successfully playing out Korea’s role as the chair of the summit and bringing about concrete agreements regarding major agendas so as to achieve the anticipated economic boost from hosting the summit meeting.
Koreans’ interest in the G20 Seoul Summit is focused primarily on the economy.
While the aftermath of global financial crisis still present, Koreans have a tremendous air of expectancy over the summit that the occasion will provide a turning point toward positive economic outlooks for Korea.
Based on our experience of significant development to our nation brought by hosting the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988 and the World Cup Soccer Tournament in 2002, hopes among Koreans for a positive change and development are prevalent in Korea.
We need not make a great fuss about the G20. But the meeting itself is, needless to say, important. I sincerely wish that the occasion will turn out to be an invaluable opportunity to exhibit excellence and creativeness of our people to the world.
Lee Kyeong-lae is vice president of the Finance Department at LG Display.