The participation of the Prime Minister of Vietnam as the ASEAN Chair in 2020 in the G20 has demonstrated the support of the country and ASEAN for the common efforts of the international community in responding to newly-emerging challenges.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc

The G20 is taking place at a time when the global economy is experiencing a deep depression due to the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the strategic competition between/among big powers and nontraditional security issues continue to negatively affect economies of countries around the world, shrink the opportunity for economic recovery in the post-pandemic period, as well as slow down the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and sustainable development goals.

In the face of various big challenges that need joint efforts of countries to deal with, international cooperation has reduced in terms of both efficiency and scale.

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely damaged social and economic bases of all countries around the world, including developed ones. Leading economists to forecast that the pandemic will leave consequences even worse than the world financial crisis in 2008.

To overcome the challenges, many politicians, economists and observers agree that countries should stand united and join efforts to respond effectively to the pandemic and recover their economies as fast as possible.  

In this context, the G20 with its theme “Realizing opportunities of the 21st century for all” is expected to serve as a forum for leaders of the world’s leading economies to discuss approaches to boost international cooperation in prioritized fields.

According to statistics, the G20 consists of the world’s 20 largest economies (19 countries and the EU). It makes up two thirds of the world’s population, more than 90% of the global GDP and some 80% of international trade. The G20 in 2020 is seen as more important than ever before as its agenda includes a series of big global issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery in the post-pandemic time. Leaders of the Group of Twenty are expected to discuss and seek approaches to effectively address these issues.

People around the world are observing the G20 and expecting that the G20 will produce not only political commitments, but also initiatives and specific action plans with concrete objectives.

At the G20 Financial Conference held recently, the financial ministers of the G20 committed to do “everything” to stabilize the global economy. They also agreed to extend the debt service suspension initiative (DSSI) for 6 months and will review another extension of the initiative in April 2021. It must have been good news for the world’s poorest nations as they would have more time and resources to recover their economies after the pandemic.   

Participating in the G20 this year, Vietnam wishes to join the common effort to deal with international issues, push up the fulfillment of international commitments and promote international cooperation. Whenever Vietnam has been invited to attend the G20 meeting, the country has made a positive contribution to dealing with international issues. For instance, when participating in the G20 meetings in 2010 and 2017, Vietnam proposed approaches to tackle global economic issues, gave various ideas on sustainable development and inclusive economic growth, agriculture and water security, and employment in digital economy models. Particularly, when attending the G20 in 2019 at the invitation of the host – Japan, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc delivered a speech discussing pressing global issues, which was applauded by leaders of the G20.

In 2020, although the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the region and world, Vietnam has successfully completed its ASEAN Chairmanship, strengthening regional connection and cooperation.

The King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s invitation to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the G20 this year has once again demonstrated that Vietnam is an active and responsible member of the international community. At the G20 this year, Vietnam will join the international effort to prevent and control COVID-19 by sharing its successful experiences of preventing and controlling the pandemic as well as contribute to dealing with other non-traditional security challenges in the region and world.

The Vietnamese people and people from other countries around the world are watching the G20 and hoping that leaders of the G20 member nations will make breakthroughs in preventing and controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and produce strong political commitments to sustainable development, economic recovery, international trade and economic cooperation, and inclusive economic growth.

Written by the Editorial Board

Translated by Thu Nguyen