Walking with Giants

In the aftermath of the G-20 Pittsburgh Summit last year, European and American officials invited policymakers from the emerging giants like China, India, and Brazil to become more involved in designing a new global economic framework – implicitly suggesting that this has not been the case so far. Yet the evidence indicates that the emerging giants have been very active indeed.

PARISIn the aftermath of the G20 Pittsburgh Summit last year, European and American officials insisted that G20 membership was imposing “new responsibilities.” They invited policymakers from the emerging giants to become more involved in designing a new global economic framework – implicitly suggesting that this has not been the case so far.

Yet the evidence does not support this view. Brazil, China, India, Korea, and Mexico had already been playing a decisive role in two major areas – the global trade regime and the management of the worldwide economic crisis; the jury is still out on a third – climate change.

Few people appear to realize the fundamental contribution of the emerging economies to the success of the current global trade regime. During the last three decades, the amazing success of China’s trade liberalization has done much more to convince other developing countries of the gains from trade than all the OECD countries’ exhortations.

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