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The G20, What it is, What it does

In today's interdependent world with an integrated global economy, more – and more effective – international cooperation among states is vital to tackle major challenges which transcend national boundaries and which national governments are increasingly unable to resolve on their own. Today's global economic imbalances and stresses are clearly in that category.

This short book sets out to summarize and analyze a process which started only three years ago but which already represents a major step towards improving the coordination of national policy-making by the world's major economies in the interest of global welfare. Through its annual summits, and all the work that takes place between them, the Group of 20 (G20) is now setting the pace of the global economic policy agenda.

The elevation of the G20 – with an increasingly wide mandate – into a forum meeting regularly at the level of heads of state/government sends a strong signal that governments are serious about modernizing the institutional structure created after World War II to help manage international economic relations through a multilateral approach.

Clearly, the G20 is not the panacea for all of the world's economic ills; and nor will it produce miracles in areas where the traditional institutions of global economic governance have stumbled. However, the rise of the G20 constitutes a big advance in the right direction for those who believe that today's global economy needs global rules, and that large emerging economies - which have now become the engines of global growth - should play a larger role in shaping those rules. The G20 process responds also to a mounting need to accelerate the pace, and increase the reach, of policy-making in order to catch up with the speed of change in world markets.

ICC, as the world business organization, has taken the decision to prioritize the G20 as a crucial interlocutor for business in today's rapidly evolving global economy. It is in the clear interest of business to help ensure that the new global economy which is emerging will be based on open and fair competition and that business everywhere will compete under a common set of rules.

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