G20 Antalya summit ushers in a new beginning

Published 11.11.2015 01:59

Turkey's G20 presidency will end with the G20 summit in Antalya on Nov. 15-16. The Antalya summit is of great importance for Turkey, other developing countries and the global economy and trade. This is because, in the present stage of the global crisis, we can see that the crisis in the EU and U.S. is intensifying and can no longer be overcome with the existing monetary system. From my standpoint, the main theme of this year's G20 Summit and all other G20 meetings to be held in the future must be a quest for a new monetary system, until finding an alternative to the existing Bretton Woods system. Today, the global economy, particularly the European economy, cannot overcome the crisis that broke out in 2008; quite the contrary, the crisis is escalating in new phases. One of the major reasons for this is that the monetary system that was introduced after World War II no longer matches the realities of the world economy and bears the dynamics that can meet the requirements of the global economy hereafter.

Today, it is inevitable that someone will bring an alternative to the Bretton Woods system and develop a new trade and customs system. The G20 summits have insisted on two major topics - financial regulations and protectionism - ever since they were initiated in Washington in 2008. In other words, developing countries have been made to regulate their financial structures and monetary policies in accordance with the Washington Consensus, to set their commodity and money markets in line with the interests of developed countries by observing the conditions stipulated by them. The EU and the U.S. implemented all kinds of protectionism by using standardization practices in all developing countries and unilaterally regulated customs unions and agreements pursuant to their own commercial affairs, however, they have advised developing countries to avoid protectionism during all G20 summits held so far. The G20 London Summit in 2009, which followed the Washington summit, was like an intermediate station where G20 members were concerned about ensuring the global recovery. During this summit, developing countries were preached to establish institutions such as financial stability boards. These financial stability boards run like currency boards, which were a result of colonial practices. And, they were designed as supreme economic and financial institutions that were created by regulatory and supervisory bodies that acted independently from elected governments. In this period, the central banks of developing countries were directly connected to the global system and adopted inflation targeting, which is an outdated practice, as their official monetary policy.

Since 2008, developed countries have dominated G20 summits. Growth has always been discussed during G20 summits, including the 2014 G20 Brisbane summit in Australia. An action plan was revealed for the growth of countries and nearly 1,000 reform topics were created during last year's summit, which expected G20 countries to grow by 2.1 percent on average over the next five years. This action plan emerged after the growth strategies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) were brought up once again. This means that the EU and the U.S. could handle the situation on the verge of recession and therefore developing countries - eastern and western parts of the world - would be allowed to grow at the same rate as the west at the utmost in order to avoid disturbing the existing balance. This was also a means of putting the responsibility of the West's 2008 financial crisis on the eastern parts of the world.

For developing countries, it must be a shame to uphold and implement all this deception today. The process that led to the Antalya summit showed us that this paradigm is being destroyed at the moment. From now on, problems faced by women, the youth, unemployed young people, children, immigrants and all developing countries will be addressed further and even be the main themes of G20 summits. This year, Turkey has taken a decisive step by introducing major topics about civil society and women. Furthermore, Turkey's G20 presidency focuses on the inclusive growth of developing and poor countries and brings up basic relevant issues to the summit's agenda. For instance, G20 energy ministers have agreed on inclusive cooperation in energy for the first time in G20 history. This means that energy sharing will be liberated from the monopoly of several countries and source and price mechanisms will be recreated by observing the interests of developing countries. The introduction of such a topic to the G20 agenda in this way is the result of Turkey's will to evaluate Iraqi and Caspian energy resources in line with the interests of countries in the region in a period of nearly five years.

Consequently, we are facing two G20s and two G20 understandings in Antalya. The first one is a G20 that advises developing countries to keep pace with developed countries and strives to prevent the east from digressing from the 20th century western paradigm. The second one is the G20 understanding of developing countries that consider the 2008 crisis a turning point and opportunity. These are the countries that no longer want to shoulder the West's crisis and to set a new development and growth path in line with their own interests. So, the Antalya G20 summit ushers in a new beginning in terms of making a clear distinction between these two understandings.

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