G20 Leaders Expected to Adopt New Development Plan

    The opening session of the G-20 summit in Seoul, South Korea. Photo by: 2010 G20 Seoul Summit

    G-20 leaders are expected to endorse a new development strategy that would emphasize infrastructure investment and the need to promote sustainable growth in developing countries, news agencies report.

    The leaders were in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 11-12 for their periodic meeting. Reports from the summit suggest that trade and currency disputes dominated the first day of talks.

    The multiyear development plan, dubbed “Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth,” identifies nine priority areas: infrastructure building, human resources development, private investment, job creation, trade promotion, domestic resources mobilization, financial inclusion, resilient growth and knowledge sharing, news agencies say.

    Adoption of the strategy would be “a very big deliverable” for the G-20 summit, Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, noted.

    “This is really going to change the way in which we address development,” Gurria said, according to Reuters. “The great leap forward here is that this is no longer a question of aid. It’s a question of development.”

    South Korea President Lee Myung-bak, whose government is among the strong proponents of including development in the G-20 agenda, described growth as the “most effective cure for poverty,” based on his country’s experience.

    >> At G20 Summit, South Korea to Champion Global Aid Approach Shift“This is not to underplay the need for aid. But what we need is a change in the philosophy of aid, with a new emphasis on investment for the future, particularly in basic infrastructure, human capital and productive capacity,” he explained in an opinion piece published in The Washington Post.

    >> Ahead of Summit, A Renewed Push to Include Development in G20 AgendaAhn Ho-young, South Korea’s ambassador-at-large for the G-20, also clarified that the proposed process is designed to augment and not replace aid, according to the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency.

    The consensus was drafted by South Korea. It is designed to replace the Washington consensus, which pushed for free-market solutions to help countries get out of extreme poverty, the Financial Times says.

    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.