CANBERRA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) — At a time when countries are going through the COVID-19 crisis and an economic slowdown, the world needs international cooperation more than ever, a senior Australian economist has said.
Peter Drysdale, head of the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research at the Australian National University, told Xinhua in an interview prior to the G20 Summit that G20 should be used “in the way in which it was designed to be used to take up challenges that we have at the moment which require effective international cooperation for a medium term and longer term.”
“I think what we should look for is some clear framing statements from G20 leaders on what we need in the way of international cooperation going forward,” he said.
The 2020 G20 Summit will be held virtually on Nov. 21 to 22, chaired by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Professor Drysdale expected to see a number of issues to top the summit agenda.
“What’s clearly a priority is cooperation on the health side,” he said. “So clear statements of willingness to share technology, clear statements of willingness to deliver support for countries deeply affected by the COVID crisis without the capacity to deal with it (are needed).”
He added that long-term commitment would also be needed to manage such crises in the future.
On the economic side, Professor Drysdale pointed out the need for “clear statements of willingness to work with other countries in managing the reflation of the global economy.”
“That’s necessary because of the close-down under the COVID crisis in many economies. The most important dimension of that will be to support countries that are at risk because they can’t mobilize the financial resources at home to do that.”
Another important element is an indication that there is a willingness to take up the global reform agenda on trade and work together on it, said the professor.
On climate change, he spoke highly of China’s aim of achieving carbon neutrality before 2060. “So there is real opportunity to engage,” he said.
The professor admitted that under the current circumstance, it might be difficult to get a detailed program of cooperation on the economic, trade, health and other agendas. “But this is the time for beginning to do that,” he said. “They set the direction in the next year and years beyond for effectively rebuilding international cooperation again.” Enditem
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