Sunday, September 6, 2009

Am I Dreaming?

. Sunday, September 6, 2009

I never thought I'd see the day when Emmanuel was optimistic about either a G-20 meeting or the Doha round of WTO meetings. But today he is optimistic about both. First, the G-20:

Somewhat to my surprise, the finance ministers' get-together in the run-up to the 24-25 September G-20 meeting has yielded results to build on. ...

I hope these two themes of enhancing LDC participation in global economic governance and reducing unwarranted banker compensation are followed through. As the title says, it's promising and not fulfilled action.

I don't see how "reducing unwarranted banker compensation" will help improve stability, but I completely agree that increasing LDC participation in the IMF and other economic institutions is a good thing. I remain skeptical that the current power structures in those institutions will be overturned unless the rising LDCs force the issue themselves, but that may happen too.

Next, Doha:

It is thus with guarded optimism that I note discussions in Delhi have exceeded my modest expectations. Following from a recent post, India has been able to get services on the agenda.

Once again, I agree with Emmanuel that the opening of the services and agricultural sectors of the industrialized world should be on the agenda. And the LDCs have shown that they are capable of blocking Doha if they don't get enough concessions. But one of the links cited by Emmanuel has this ominous quote from USTR Kirk:

"We have missed so many deadlines," said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Reuters reported. "Substance will drive this process, not setting deadlines and timelines."

So let's not get ahead ourselves (not that Emmanuel is); there are some signs for optimism, but there have been before as well.


Am I Dreaming?
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