What role can Australia play in improving the effectiveness and legitimacy of the G20? A Case for facilitating financial regulatory reform

Laura attended the 2013 Y20 Summit in Saint Petersburg where she represented The Australian National University. Laura is a Masters of Law Student and Masters of of Diplomacy student and was also a legal committee delegate at the World Model United Nations in Vancouver last year.

Abstract

The G20s evolution can be characterised as a movement of the G20 from a technocratic to a highly political international institution. This paper addresses the criticisms of the effectiveness of the G20 and the reality that domestic politics plays a role in states compliance with asserted international commitments. The primary criticisms of the G20 to date include the forums lack of effectiveness and its inability to reach and implement consensus and produce tangible mechanisms for improving international financial regulation. This paper discusses the unique position Australia has in facilitating consensus and developing state accountability. Proactive steps on Australia’s part in 2013 can further lay the groundwork for greater progress during Australia’s 2014 presidency.

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Public private partnerships and the effect on sustainable fund investments

Benjamin attended the 2013 Y20 Summit in Saint Petersburg where he represented the Queensland University of Technology. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Business in Marketing and Korean Language (Honours) and he was a recipient of QUT's Corporate Partners in Excellence Scholarship in 2012. Benjamin was also one of two on the Australian Delegation for ASEAN East Asian Summit in 2010.

Abstract

Governments are currently faced with the challenge of financing for investment in a market with no confidence. There is also an ongoing need to keep up with the already high demands of infrastructure maintenance and development brought on by an increasing population. Australia has a history of infrastructure privatisation but government policy has not adapted to the evolving demands of this new investment class. Developing countries need to invest seven per cent of gross domestic product to new infrastructure and maintenance of existing infrastructure, with current level only being three to four per cent.1 The realisation is a need for alternative private investment sources for infrastructure development.2 The approach this research has taken is to assess Public Private Partnership (PPP) facilitated infrastructure investments as an investment class for superannuation funds.

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Lowering remittance costs for migrant workers: How Australia and the G20 can lead the post 2015 Sustainable Economic Development Agenda

Nicholas attended the 2013 Y20 Summit in Saint Petersburg where he represented The University of Melbourne as Melbourne National Scholar. Nicholas is reading for a Bachelor of Arts (Literature and History), alongside an Advanced Diploma of Theology at the MCD University of Divinity. He is Founder and Editor-in-chief of a new quarterly intercollegiate foreign affairs magazine, The Melbourne Globalist, and Founder and President of 180 Degrees Consulting at The University of Melbourne. 

Abstract

The G20 is having an identity crisis with regards to its efforts on fighting extreme poverty, representing the developing world and Africa in particular, and in reaching the goals of economic growth and job creation as laid out by the Framework for Strong Sustainable and Balanced Growth (FSSBG) introduced at the Pittsburgh Summit in 2009. This paper therefore proposes that Australia, in assuming the presidency of the G20 in 2014, should seek to achieve tangible economic results by strongly advocating that the G20 develop a renewed international consensus regarding the lowering of international remittance costs for migrant workers in preparation for the 2015 post Millennium Development Goals agenda. Given that the G20 nations are responsible for half of all global remittance flows, and when considering the universal failure to meet the G8’s 2009 5x5 Objective to lower the Global Average of remittance transfer costs from 10 percent to 5 percent by 2015 with the Global Average currently at 9.05 percent, Australia and the G20 are in unique position to refocus this important development issue post 2014 and ultimately have a substantial impact on the lives of the world’s poorest. This would allow the G20 to return to a strong focus on economic growth, job creation, and market-based approaches to sustainable economic development. If successful, the G20 could then point to measurable, tangible and impactful improvements to the global economy. Rather than expanding the definition of what it could be doing as an institution beyond the province of global economic governance as some have called for, this paper urges the G20 and an Australian presidency in particular to focus upon what it must be doing to make global economic infrastructure more efficient and fair for the world’s poorest.

Recommendations:

  1. Given its 2011 Cannes commitment, the G20 must advocate for a renewed multilateral consensus and efforts to lower remittance costs on international monetary transactions below USD 500 in conjunction with the respective efforts of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations.

  2. The G20 must also commit to a perpetuation of the measures of the 5x5 Objective pledged at the 2009 G8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy12 beyond the 2014 deadline to reduce average global costs to 5 percent in the interests of designing and leading the post 2015 Millennium Development Goals agenda.

  3. Refocus its mission and improve its efficacy by actively trimming its agenda to reflect a greater focus on economic growth and job creation, rather than actively expanding its agenda to include subordinate issues outside of this province, as mandated per the FSSBG.

  4. Not yield to pressure and international calls to expand the list of participating member countries, lest the G20 trade off effectiveness for inclusiveness.

  5. Instead, Australia, in assuming the Presidency of the G20 and remaining on the Troika until 2015, must encourage the G20 to address criticism about its representative status by adopting policies that are directly relevant and concerned with the non-participating member countries and the developing world.

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A crisis 'in' or 'of' the system

Mary attended the 2013 Y20 summit in Saint Petersburg where she represented The University of Melbourne's Faculty of Business and Economics. She is a Bachelor of Commerce student and is currently studying the Sponsorship Publications officer of the Economics Association of Australia.

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to evaluate from a historical perspective whether with regards to the Gold Standard and other crises that have plagued the international monetary and financial framework, the GFC emerged within the system or as a result of the current framework. This paper highlights various reforms proposed by a \stakeholders followed by a G20 specific reform course.

Section 1 provides an analysis of former regimes, including the Gold Standard, the Bretton Woods system and the current framework with regard to key crises including the Great Depression and recent Global Financial Crisis. With consideration of the context in which each framework operated and each crisis emerged, an assessment of surrounding factors is also incorporated.

Following on from the evaluation of the current framework within Section 1, Section 2 details reform solutions ranging from those in favor of greater regulation including David Hetherington’s (of Per Capita Institutes) proposal to institute ‘Yourbank’, the international clearing union and deregulation and further flexibility in exchange rates..

Section 3 concludes the report with a G20 specific reform course to be adopted during the 2013 Russian presidency and further into the 2014 Australian presidency placing particular emphasis upon the centrality of the G20 Framework for strong sustainable growth (FSSG), the implementation of Basel III, the operation of the Financial Stability Board and the Troika to the attainment of this course of action.

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