Center for international institutions research

International Conference “Priorities for Global Economic Governance in the Post-Covid-19 Digital World”


The fifth annual RANEPA conference on the future of global governance was held by the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) on October 7, 2020. It was organized by the by the Center for International Institutions Research (CIIR) with expert support of the G20 Research Group of the University of TorontoItalian Institute for International Political Studies and BRICS Research Group. The Conference brought together representatives of academic community, think tanks and government structures of the G20 and the BRICS member countries.

The participants discussed the impact of COVID-19 and dramatic digitalization on international cooperation, emerging trends and approaches to digital economy regulation, key global governance institutions’ role in shaping the rules of the game for a new era, as well as the outlook of global governance in the digital world.

In conclusion they put forward several concrete proposals for global digital governance and the  G20 cooperation agenda.


Opening session summary 

In his welcome statement, Vladimir Mau highlighted that challenges we face during the pandemic are unprecedented, including human loss, jobs loss, learning disruptions, etc. The crisis has hit the world already full of contradictions and problems, and exacerbated many of them, including the weakness and mistrust of multilateral institutions. Yet there is no alternative to international cooperation. Only at the international level can we take effective measures to address global problems, for instance, ensure that economic growth promotes wealth and addresses inequality. However, at this war with COVID-19, there is lack of unity among countries, so we need to find solutions to make multilateral cooperation within IOs more effective.

Svetlana Lukash, the moderator of this session, invited the speakers to comment on the priorities for global governance institutions to put the recovery on a sustainable and strong path.

Maksim Oreshkin illustrated the depth of the current crisis, and stressed that problems cannot be addressed only by national actions. At the same time, international response is insufficient, because reforms in major IOs are still unfinished. Thus, we need to work more on eliminating barriers, and providing economic stimuli. The G20 is a right place for this.

Franco Bruni also mentioned that individual governments have taken good measures but a serious deterioration of international relations prevents to react to the global shock in a coordinated manner. One of them is excessive debt, both private and government, which will become even higher at the end of the pandemic, causing problems, such as liquidity trap. Thus, G20 should devote more attention and effort to cope with the excessive indebtedness of the world.

Kseniya Yudaeva focused on measures central banks implemented to address the crisis. In particular, massive easing that should be provided in a way that does not undermine financial stability. As for international cooperation on central banks’ priorities, she mentioned FSB, BIS and other arrangements, and speaking on broader international actions – the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative and the new IMF programs. However, most countries resort to domestic sources to address their problems, which is a peculiarity of this crisis. So, there is a need to make international tools more attractive for countries.

Andreas Schaal stressed that we now face a crisis without precedent in modern history. Uncoordinated country responses often entailed high economic and, in some cases, health costs. Therefore, the case for a coordinated response to the pandemic and the economic crisis is clear. The OECD has been in the forefront of efforts to promote multilateral solutions, but more needs to be done. In particular, international institutions need to adapt to reflect underlying shifts in economic and political power, strengthen multilateral cooperation and ensure coherent co-operation across policy domains.

Deborah Greenfield stressed the need for global policies to prioritize inequality. She pointed out that global governance must become far more inclusive of the countries that need the most assistance, and rely on a more integrated approach, in which allocation of global resources is not simply driven by traditional monetary and fiscal policy, and illustrated these proposals with three priorities, namely, fiscal stimulus, social protection and gender equality. Overall, the current fragmented approach controlled by richest nations and traditional macro theory will perpetuate inequalities, so international cooperation is needed to address these issues.

At the end of the session, participants discussed the idea of the universal basic income and commented on each other’s interventions. . 

Welcome Statement

MAU Vladimir, Rector, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)     

Dear colleagues,

I am glad to welcome you to our annual conference. Of course, discussions in the virtual space cannot substitute face-to-face communication, but, nevertheless, they create a valuable opportunity for a joint understanding of challenges we face and for developing common approaches and solutions to address them.

The losses, risks and challenges that 2020 brought are truly unprecedented.

First of all, of course, these are human losses, and this is not only more than 35 million confirmed cases and more than 1 million deaths from the coronavirus, but also a large number of deaths that have occurred as a result of disrupted healthcare and resources diversion without appropriate mitigation.

There is also the loss of 495 million full-time equivalent jobs, which leads to a decline in labor incomes by 10.7% or USD 3.5 trillion. As a result, the global poverty rate is expected to rise for the first time since 1998 – from 8.2% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2020.

Learning disruptions, which affected more than 1.5 billion students, have long-term consequences. The loss of necessary skills is likely to cause a decline in productivity and GDP. According to experts, the average GDP could be 1.5% lower on average for the remainder of the century compared to the forecast made before the pandemic.

A five percent drop in global GDP, the largest decline in GDP per capita in 75 years (6.2%, or twice as bad as the 2009 recession) set back the Sustainable Development Goals achievement.

The disruption of global value chains, 13% reduction in trade, and 40% decline in foreign direct investment flows particularly affect developing countries that depend on extractive industries and industries deeply embedded in global value chains.

Domestic resource mobilization for countries’ development is complicated not only by the need to allocate significant funds to combat the pandemic, but also by a decrease in fiscal revenues due to sluggish economic activity, falling tourism and low commodity prices. An important risk factor is devaluation of national currencies and, accordingly, increasing costs of servicing government debts, two-thirds of which for low-income countries are USD denominated.

The G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative covers only 73 of the world’s poorest countries, does not include debt to private creditors, and so far only affects 3.65% of the total debt service cost of developing countries in 2020.

As a result, developing countries and emerging market economies are unable to implement support measures on the same scale as developed countries. Financial assistance resources pledged by the IMF (USD 1 trillion) and the WB (USD 160 billion) are insufficient to overcome the crisis and return to the growth trajectory. The scale of this assistance is incomparable with the USD 8 trillion mobilized to overcome the crisis by the world’s leading economies. Thus, the risks of deepening economic and social inequality not only within countries, but also between countries, increase significantly.

Digital technologies, which have become a critical resource in the fight against COVID-19 as a factor of sustained economic activity during the pandemic, can facilitate positive change, but can also reinforce and magnify the existing fault lines and worsen economic and other inequalities.

For digitalization to become a driver of inclusive growth and sustainable development, many obstacles need to be addressed, including the digital divide in Internet access, lack of digital public goods, data protection and privacy concerns, gaps in international coordination, cooperation and governance of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection challenges, diffuse and exclusive nature of digital cooperation architecture.

The new systemic crisis has hit the world already full of contradictions and problems – climate change, slowing economic growth, trade conflicts, low level of business confidence and falling investment activity, growing inequality and polarization in societies, and fragmentation of the digital space.

The pandemic crisis has exposed and exacerbated many of them, including the weakness and mistrust of multilateral institutions. Yet there is no alternative to international cooperation. Global problems do not have local or even national solutions.

The UN system launched the work under the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, the Global Humanitarian Response Plan and the UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. Local assistance to countries and communities was deployed. But so far only about USD 2.5 billion has been mobilized, while 10 billion are needed. The Security Council adopted a resolution calling for an end to armed conflicts only on 1 July, although the Secretary General's appeal in March was endorsed by 180 UN member states and acknowledged by 20 armed movements and other entities.

The G20 adopted the Action Plan on Supporting the Global Economy Through the COVID-19 Pandemic, pledged to provide financial support to the WHO Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan and immediate resources to the New Solidarity Fund to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also committed to use the potential of digital technologies and solutions to overcome the pandemic and facilitate economic recovery. The decisions of the emergency summit demonstrated the G20 leaders’ readiness to take responsibility for ensuring safety, health and well-being of all citizens, and energized the work of other multilateral institutions and coordination between them. But so far the level of G20 cooperation in the digital economy is not commensurate with its potential as a premier forum for economic cooperation of the world’s leading economies.

The IMF has generated credit resources of USD 1 trillion and has already provided assistance worth SDR 64 billion to 80 countries, mainly using emergency and precautionary lending tools. However, the Fund did not receive approval for an additional SDR emission and allocation, which could alleviate the problems of developing countries experiencing foreign exchange reserves difficulties.

The World Bank Group has provided finance for health systems support projects in 111 countries. However, a shortage of financial resources is expected in 2021.

The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 response strategy serves as the basis for developing national response plans. But WHO is fulfilling its role as a coordinator of the international community’s efforts with a very tight budget, and so far its COVID-19 programs are only 80% resourced.

The New Development Bank promptly approved USD 1 billion programs to tackle the pandemic and its consequences in China, India, Brazil and South Africa. However, the BRICS countries have not yet come up with a common plan for countering the pandemic and ensuring economic recovery. Despite BRICS consistent support of the WHO’s work, only China and Russia have pledged contributions to WHO for its COVID-19 appeal.

Criticism of major international institutions actions during the pandemic is often fair. What hinders their effectiveness? What should be done to overcome the barriers to reforming the institutions? Will the crisis become a catalyst for transforming the “institutional landscape littered with well-intentioned reforms that have not been implemented”? What institutions we need for the 21st century?

I hope that the discussion on the global economic governance priorities in the conference and beyond will result in new proposals which will facilitate recovery of our economies recover and strengthening of the multilateral institutions.

I wish you all health and prosperity!

Opening session. Response to COVID-19 and Economic Crisis. Priorities for International Cooperation and Global Governance Institutions

Moderator: LUKASH Svetlana, Russian G20 Sherpa, Deputy Head of the Presidential Experts’ Directorate 

Graduating from the Russian State University for Humanities in 1999 with a degree in economics and management, Svetlana Lukash started her career at Russia’s regulatory authority for natural monopolies, while continuing post-graduate studies in sociology and politics at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Moving to private sector in 2001 she managed consulting and think tanks’ projects in natural resources, corporate governance and social responsibility areas, including for the 'Expert' media holding. In 2006 Svetlana Lukash was invited to the Expert Council on Russia's G8 Presidency as expert on energy security. In 2007 she joined Presidential Executive Office to cover global agenda, including G8 and G20, and national environment policy. After developing and running Russia’s G20 Presidency program in 2013 Ms.Lukash was appointed Russia's G20 Sherpa. Ms. Lukash managed substantive preparations for 5 G8 and 14 G20 summits, having witnessed evolution of G20 since its inception at the leaders’ level. As a Deputy Chief of Presidential Experts’ Directorate she is also in charge of national environment and nature conservation policy.

In December 2019 Svetlana Lukash was awarded the Order of Friendship for her contribution to promoting cooperation and mutual understanding between nations.


ORESHKIN Maksim, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation 

2002: Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Higher School of Economics.. 

2004: Master’s Degree in Economics, Higher School of Economics». 

2002–2006 Economist, 1st class; Leading Economist; Chief Economist; Sector Head at the Balance of Payments Department at the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia). 

2006–2010: Senior Manager; Director; Managing Director at Rosbank. 

2010–2012: Head of the Analytical Unit at Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank Russia and the CIS. 

2012–2013: Chief Economist for Russia at VTB Capital. 

2013–2015: Director of the Long-term Strategic Planning Department at the Russian Ministry of Finance. 

2013: included in the management personnel pool under the patronage of the President of the Russian Federation. 

2015–2016: Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation. 

2016–2020: Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. 

2017: Since March 14 – Presidential Special Representative for Trade and Economic Cooperation with Japan. 

2018: Chairman of the Board, at the Centre for Strategic Research. 

2020: Since January 24 – Aide to the President of the Russian Federation. 

YUDAEVA Kseniya, First Deputy Governor, Bank of Russia 

Ms Ksenia Yudaeva is a First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia (since September 2013) and a Member of the Bank of Russia Board of Directors (since October 2013). She oversees macroeconomic research, forecasting and international cooperation. Previously she was also responsible for the monetary policy issues. Prior to her appointment to the Bank of Russia, she headed the Experts’ Directorate at the Presidential Administration for a year, and had acted as Russia’s Sherpa during the country’s G20 Presidency. Before becoming a public servant, Ms Yudaeva was the Chief Economist and Director of the Sberbank Centre for Macroeconomic Research. Ms Yudaeva graduated from the Economics Faculty of the Lomonosov Moscow State University with a degree in “Economics and Mathematics”, and afterwards has completed a Master’s degree in Economics at the New Economic School (Moscow) and a PhD in Economics at the MIT

BRUNI Franko, Vice President and Co-Head, Italian Institute for International Political Studies, Centre on Europe and Global Governance 

The state of global governance isn’t up to the task of the confrontation with Covid-19. Several individual governments have taken good measures but a serious deterioration of international relations prevents to react in a coordinated fashion to a global shock. The EU seems an exception as it is preparing a set of innovative common measures, but global tensions create obstacles also to its endeavors.

The appropriate global, G20-guided measures should obviously move in many directions. I have time to touch upon only one topic: the excess of debt that the world had already before the Covid shock and that will appear gigantic at the end of the pandemic.

The Great Financial Crisis of 2008 had been nourished by excessive increases in debts starting at the end of the last century. As it was cured with even more debts, the ratio of private and public debts to GDP can be estimated to have reached 250% in 2018, 100 points more that 20 years before and 50 points more than in 2008.

The average ratio of private plus public debts to GDP in G7 countries plus Spain has grown from around 250% in 1998 to nearly 300 in 2008 to much more than 500 in 2018. A lot of debt has been monetized by central banks pushing the world in a liquidity trap and, at the same time, suggesting to some that high inflation might sooner or later become a problem. The Fed’s balance sheet was around 13% of US GDP in 2010, 18% in 2019: at the end of September 2020 it was above 35%. The growth of the ECB balance sheet is even more impressive: from 20% in 2010 to 60% at the end of September 2020.

I am afraid all these numbers will be much higher at the end of the pandemic. What could be done to at least start preparing some adjustment and prevent the diffusion of unsustainable debts and a financial crisis? For public debts we need new rules to reduce the deficits inflated by the anti-Covid measures. I think some attention for this discipline of public finances will sooner or later re-emerge at the global level. On the contrary, the issue of private debts could turn out to be overlooked. We should instead design a strategy to: change fiscal incentives that currently favor debts over risk capital as they allow to detract interest from taxable profits; reinforce the obstacles to make bank loans to excessively indebted firms; reform pension systems and institutional investors to better channel savings towards good quality risk capital; favor small capitalists and enhancing the reputation of capitalism by improving the governance and the transparency of the firms where relatively small savings can be invested.

Very serious problems characterize also the external debt position of less advanced countries. Emerging countries like Turkey and Argentina, where past imprudent financial inflows have been favored by the excessively low interest rates in the major financial countries. And less developed countries, including many among the poorest countries of the world. The World Bank estimates of the external debt of IDA countries with low and average income grew from 80% to 100% of their exports from 2010 to 2018 with a very small and declining percentage of multilateral debt (from 11 to 8%). These numbers have probably very much deteriorated during the last 2 years. Debt service has been suspended from May to December of the current year. Recent estimations have been done of the evolution of debt service of these countries until 2024 and of its composition in terms of creditor countries. One aspect that emerges is the enormous and increasing weigh of China’s credits. The G20 will have to coordinate an effective plan of debt forgiveness and relief and its diplomacy must deal with the tricky political leverage that China will obtain from the bailout operation.

Let me conclude by stating that the G20 should devote a lot of attention and effort to cope with the excessive indebtedness of the world. 

SCHAAL Andreas, Director of OECD Global Relations 

Response to COVID-19 and Economic Crisis. Priorities for International Cooperation and Global Governance Institutions.

1. We face a crisis without precedent in modern history. The last great pandemic, the influenza following the Great War, unfolded in a world that was far less interconnected, whether we think in terms of flows of goods and people, or of rules and institutions – not to mention digital systems and their role in contemporary economies and societies. While we are better prepared than a century ago to manage the health impacts of COVID19, it has triggered an economic shock of a magnitude never seen before. Many economies contracted at annualised rates of up to 20% in the second quarter of this year. Only one G20 economy (China) is forecast to register positive growth in 2020. The hardest hit are likely to record declines of 10% of GDP for the year as a whole. Looking ahead, the OECD expects a slow and halting recovery until an effective vaccine or treatment is found. In the meantime, extremely high uncertainty will continue to weigh on activity across the globe.

2. The crisis erupted at a time when the multilateral system was strained and trust in multilateral institutions and approaches was being challenged in many quarters. Moreover, many states’ early responses to the crisis were strongly unilateral: restrictions on the internal and international movement of people, restrictions on exports and border closures were widespread. Many of these restrictions were necessary to contain the immediate spread of the virus and protect citizens. The need to act quickly perhaps reinforced the tendency to move unilaterally, sometimes in violation of international commitments. The virus was spreading fast, and multilateral processes are often slow.

3. Such uncoordinated responses, even if understandable from a short-term public health perspective, entailed high economic and, in some cases, health costs. Early 2020 saw an unprecedented, if temporary, halt to global migration flows and the severest contraction in trade flows in over a decade. Our latest data point to a decline of around 15% in world merchandise trade in the second quarter—in part due to government policies restricting the cross-border flow of goods and services. Commodity prices collapsed. Trade was already slowing because of trade tensions, international investment was receding because of companies’ interest in strengthening the resilience of their supply chains, and COVID made matters worse. There were temporary supply disruptions affecting the availability of critical supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in some places. For many countries, the contraction will be devastating: we expect a 20% fall in remittances to low-and-middle-income countries over 2020, and we could see a 60-80% contraction in tourism worldwide this year. As restrictions to the flows of goods and people have affected food supply, disruptions to agricultural value chains and income losses for informal workers could also have dire consequences in terms of food shortages in the short term.

4. The case for a co-ordinated response to the pandemic and the economic crisis is clear. Neither viruses nor economic shocks respect national frontiers. The pathway out of the crisis will require international co-operation. No country is able to meet its own needs for the range of products necessary to combat COVID-19. OECD work on the problems with PPE supplies early this year show clearly that resilient global supply chains must be part of the solution to such shortages and thus to overcoming the pandemic. Similarly, ensuring the smooth functioning of agricultural value chains can soon become a humanitarian necessity. In fact, some governments have taken measures to facilitate trade, in particular for essential products, for example by increasing the use of digital tools to facilitate border processes. The need for co-operation is even clearer with respect to the economic recovery: while countries can unilaterally close borders and restrict movement, the impact of re-opening depends on what others are doing. So does the impact of macroeconomic support measures: we must not forget how critical the co-ordination of macro responses was in ensuring that the global financial crisis did not turn into a global depression.

5. The OECD has been in the forefront of efforts to promote multilateral solutions since the crisis erupted. Our online COVID-19 Hub contains timely analysis of every aspect of the crisis and its impact, sharing lessons on policy responses from public health to education to support for struggling households and firms. At that same time, we have promoted regional and global dialogue among policy-makers from OECD and partner countries. We have also worked closely with countries and development partners to ensure that the recovery policies “build back better”, particularly with respect to environmental sustainability and digital transition. We must do better than trying simply to restore what was, after all, an unsustainable status quo before the crisis. Our ministerial discussions also focus a great deal on support for open trade and investment, particularly in areas such as health or agriculture, which are important to recovery, inclusion and resilience.

6. Looking ahead, what lessons can we draw from this crisis to improve multilateral co-operation and global governance? There are surely many, but I see three that stand out:

• We need the ability to adapt – and react – faster. In many ways, the structures of the world economy are changing faster than many of our rules and institutions. Shifts in economic and political power, the rise of new technologies that fit poorly into existing economic governance models (e.g., digitalisation) and the sudden emergence of new threats all challenge processes and systems of co-operation and governance that have taken shape over decades. Thus, while formal institutions like the OECD or the IMF are critical, we often need to work faster and more effectively through more open and flexible fora, like the G20. That is why we at the OECD have worked for over a decade to support the G20. From this, it follows that international institutions will have to adapt to reflect underlying shifts in economic and political power. For an organisation like the OECD, engagement with non-members will be increasingly important if we are to promote principles like equal treatment in investment, market openness, environmental standards and competitive neutrality.

• We need to find ways to remind citizens and policy-makers that multilateral co-operation, far from weakening states or undermining their roles, can actually strengthen them. We are already starting to see the truth of this in the response to the current crisis. If multilateralism is seen simply as a constraint on state action, it risks being seen as a constraint on countries’ economic and social progress. There are many situations in which international rules and institutions can make individual countries policies’ more effective, e.g., when global co-operation helps reduce corruption or tax evasion. In other cases (e.g., trade rules or environmental standards), co-operation can help avert “beggar-thy-neighbour” situations in which uncoordinated policies lead to worse outcomes for all.

• Finally, we need to do better at ensuring coherent co-operation across policy domains. We have long recognised the dangers of “silo thinking” in governments, where policies addressing different problems often work at cross-purposes. The international arena is no different. As we work for a recovery that will “build back better”, we need to do more to ensure that international institutions and processes help countries pursue growth, sustainability and equity together. 

GREENFIELD Deborah, Deputy Director-General (Policy), International Labour Organization (2016-2020) 

Overall message: global policies must prioritize inequality 

Suggest the following:

1. Despite the very weak multilateral response, I don’t advocate creating new or different or additional platforms/institutions – no time, no appetite, and perhaps no point; danger in over-duplication a. Broad-based collective commitments already exist in words, whether you look at the SDGs or the G20 Extraordinary Virtual Summit: “The G20 is committed to do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic . . . . We are determined to spare no effort, both individually and collectively”

2. Two huge caveats, both about agency, both interrelated: a. Global governance must become far more inclusive of the countries that need the most assistance b. And when we talk about building resilient and equitable economies, we need to provide agency to Es and Ws through robust social dialogue mechanisms

3. Third caveat: a. Global governance – particularly platforms like the G20 – tend to look at the world in a fragmented way: finance is separate from labour, which is separate from climate, for ex. b. Desperately need an integrated approach, in which allocation of global resources isn’t simply driven by traditional monetary and fiscal policy i. Radically reorient the way G20 thinks about global issues ii. Rely on ILS

Let me suggest a few priorities to illustrate my points:

1. Fiscal stimulus;

2. Social protection;

3. Gender equality.

Fiscal Stimulus:

1. ILO Covid Monitor (6th ed.): Labor income declined globally about 10.7 per cent during the first three quarters of 2020 (compared with the corresponding period in 2019), which amounts to US$3.5 trillion, or 5.5 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) for the first three quarters of 2019;

2. G20: $5 trillion in fiscal stimulus;

3. But this did not translate into worldwide assistance: a) According to ILO there is a “Stimulus gap”= $982b USD: what would it take to match the average level of stimulus relative to working-hour losses in high income countries. For low-income countries this is less than 1 per cent of the total value of the fiscal stimulus packages announced by high-income countriesж

4. In terms of global governance: 

a. We need a commitment of resources – G20, SDGs can be vehicles; 

b. But if we are going to build back a global economy that is more sustainable and leads to greater equality, we need platforms that involve the most hard-hit countries themselves i. Beyond immediate relief to find solutions to global issues like informality:

1. over 60% world’s workers are in informal economy;

2. The first month of crisis is estimated to result in a decline in earnings of informal workers of 60 per cent globally.

c. What might this entail:

i. Investments in infrastructure – physical, digital, social; 

ii. Global commitment to sd;

iii. Rethinking GSCs: global commitment to due diligence, for ex. (can come about through legislation, ILS)

Social Protection

1. We have seen assistance in form of immediate cash transfers to cushion loss of income

a. if doesn’t translate into building sustainable universal social protection systems we will have squandered an enormous opportunity

b. many countries lack fiscal space to build these systems; therefore need assistance

c. global governance: build the systems according to ILS i. this is one illustration of how ILS can provide backbone to global governance of economic and social policies

d. IFIs need to adjust their conditionality principles: not social safety nets but universal sp with floors

Gender Equality

1. Pandemic has had disproportionate impact on women. As ILO analysed in 5th Monitor:

a. 40% all women work in hardest hit sectors, like services, garment

b. They are at front lines of health care

c. They bear greater burden of unpaid care work

2. Global governance requires that our macroeconomic policies reorient themselves to become gender-sensitive at all stages: this illustrates the need to integrate our goals


1. Time is running out

2. current fragmented approach controlled by richest nations and traditional macro theory will perpetuate inequalities

3. IOs like the ILO and OECD provide evidence base for progress

Discussion. Full video of the session on YouTube


Session 1. Policy coordination for overcoming global recession, restoring international trade and ensuring sustainable growth

Session 1 Summary 

Global economy is now in deep recession with trade being one of the most affected sectors. This poses a threat to sustainable development in the future. Current crisis brought about new trends, challenges and threats and also created opportunities. That is why the first Session of the conference was dedicated to policy coordination for overcoming global recession, restoring international trade and ensuring sustainable growth.

International trade in its traditional forms is negatively affected by the current crisis, however it led to the emergence and development of distant forms of commerce and moved services and trade online. This crisis happened during continuing standstill of the WTO system reform, what reinforces the negative effects, impedes the elaboration of collective decisions and overall recovery. Current developments on the one hand illustrate the deadlock and on the other – amplify the urgent need for the reform of trade institutions. In the conditions of limited global cooperation the role of regional cooperation increases. Moderator of the session N. Volchkova elaborated on these issues in her opening remarks.

Current developments in the global cooperation and international institutions activities are dominated by several important trends. N. Stapran distinguishes three major trends in global governance. First tendency is the rise of unilateralism manifested not only on intergovernmental level (economic fragmentation and protectionism), but also on interpersonal level (social distancing and self-isolation). The second trend is humanization of world economy. Profit-orientation is replaced with human-centered recovery. Sustainability agenda is gaining momentum in these circumstances with the green development, de-carbonization, SDGs and other issues being prioritized. The third trend is global digitalization, which at this point replaced digital globalization, which can be characterized by the universal spread if digitalization accompanied by the lack of international regulation.

Measurement of digital trade and digital economy in general is one of the most important and discussed issues in global governance today. The importance of this issue is even more prominent now when trade and services move online. Trade in services still lacks quality data. In India, for example, focus was always on IT services, while others were not paid as much attention in terms of analysis and data collection. Covid crisis moved a lot of services online, cross-border trade in services evolved. That is why new effort in developing the measurement of digital trade is needed. Moreover, new reality of digital economy development poses a new challenge of measurement of digital economy in general. Also, customs used to be the major information source on trade, but now with the rise of digital services central bank is becoming a major holder of information. Another urgent issue for the global governance institutions is providing the definition of digital economy, which still does not exist. Akshay Mathur dedicated his intervention to this important topic.

While seeking solutions to current crisis it can be useful to look back at the G20’s response to the previous crisis. Key lesson was the importance of financial stability and the introduction of macroprudential policies. However, these efforts did not help to prevent new crisis, as global economy was preparing for the past crisis and not the ones in the future. G20 has to develop a broader approach. Cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure are one of the most important threats and should be a priority in G20. Now it is time for the G20 and other institutions to make an effort at revealing all possible threats and measuring their possible impact. To overcome the current crisis G20 members will have to make a trade-off between the anti-crisis policies and measures which require significant spending and fiscal stability. That is why the approach to recovery should include restructuring of the whole economy, not only growth targets. E. Gurvich provised his insight on this issue.

Development banks can be one of the major actors when it comes to overcoming the crisis. Jiejin Zhu in his intervention elaborated on the role of NDB and AIIB in this regard. He compared New Development Bank (NDB) and Asian Bank for Infrastructure Investments (AIIB) in their response to the covid crisis. Prof. Zhu comes to the conclusion that NDB is more flexible and client-driven in its response, despite that AIIB has higher rating and reputation. According to Prof Zhu’s research NDB’s autonomy is higher and this makes it more flexible and efficient. He gives three arguments on why NDB has higher autonomy: project technical complexity, co-financing (with other MDBs) and human-resource policy (staff with previous experience in MDBs).

Another important aspect of global economy when it comes to overcoming the crisis is the development of the labour markets. Already existing formats of distant work became new normality and have a potential to contribute to the sustainable development in the future, and at the same time raised new issues in taxation, work ethics, and maybe triggered new trends, for example migration of people back to small towns.

All in all, the urgent need for closer global cooperation and more active role of international institutions persists. Negative effects of the covid crisis should be mitigated while positive trends continued and reinforced through intensified cooperation and adequate international regulation. G20, WTO, MDBs and other institutions can facilitate faster recovery of national economies and global economy in general. They can enhance their cooperation on trade, labour market development and coordinated anti-crisis measures. G20 members and other countries should strengthen their efforts to reach an agreement on WTO reform, issue of digital economy and trade in services measurement should become one of the priorities for cooperation. New development banks have a role to play in this recovery process as well because traditional financial institutions and an overall system faces challenges of legitimacy and efficiency.

Moderator: VOLCHKOVA Natalia, Vice-rector for scientific work, Russian Foreign Trade Academy of the Ministry for Economic Development of Russia, Assistant Professor, New Economic School (Moscow, Russia)

Natalia Volchkova is the Vice-rector for scientific work of Russian Foreign Trade Academy of the Ministry for Economic Development of Russia. She is also an assistant Professor of Economics in the New Economic School, Moscow, Russia (since 1998) and Policy Director of the Center for Economic and Financial Research (since 2000). Her research focuses on International Trade Theory, International Trade Policy and Macroeconomics.

In 1998-2014 she worked as a researcher in the Central Economic and Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and in 2008-2009 as a visiting scholar of Department of Economics in Harvard University (Cambridge). She taught International Economics in the International College of Economics and Finance (2002-2008) and in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge) (2001- 2002). She has a Ph.D in Economics (Kandidat Nauk) from Central Economics and Mathematics Institute (Postgraduate School); Master of Arts (Economics) from New Economic School; Master of Science (Astronomy) (Honors) from M.V.Lomonosov Moscow State University (Department of Physics).



STAPRAN Natalia, Director, Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation

Natalia Stapran is the Director of the Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects in the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. In this capacity, she oversees Russia’s engagement on the economic track with key multilateral organizations and groupings, including the UN System, Group of Twenty, OECD, BRICS and APEC.

Ms. Stapran had previously pursued a career in research and consulting, heading the Russian APEC Study Center and teaching international relations and history. She continues to serve on several expert and academic councils dealing with global governance, multilateralism and Asian Studies.

Ms. Stapran graduated from MGIMO University and holds a PhD in History.

MATUR Akshay, ORF Mumbai. His research focuses on economic diplomacy with a particular focus on global economic governance

Akshay Mathur is a Director ofORF Mumbai. He is also a Senior Fellow with Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Canada. Prior to this position, he was the Chief Executive Officer, Director of Research and Senior Fellow of Geoeconomic Studies at Gateway House. His research focuses on economic statecraft with a particular focus on global economic governance. Before joining Gateway House, he worked as a Principal Architect with the corporate strategy group at Fidelity Investments at its headquarters in Boston, specifically the Advanced Research, Strategy Formulation, and Business Architecture division. He has written columns for Indian and foreign news publications such as the Financial Times, Economic Times, and Business Standard and has been interviewed by the New York Times, Bloomberg, BBC, Channel News Asia, CCTV, Russia Today, CNBC, NDTV on global trends. He represented India at the inaugural cohort of the Asia Global Fellows programme for mid-career leaders in the field of global policy-making hosted by the Asia Global Institute in Hong Kong in 2017.He has an MBA from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business with concentration in Finance and Business Analysis and research focused on transnational business and global macroeconomics. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from the School of Computer Science at University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is an alumnus of Mayo College, Ajmer. He is the co-founder of an NGO called Aasra Gramin Vikas Sansthan that focuses on vocational training and social enterprise. 

GURVICH Evsey, Head of the Economic Expert Group, member of the Public Council at the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation

Head of the Economic Expert Group - a think tank with a focus on studies and advise in macroeconomic policy and public finance.

Interests include fiscal policy in an oil-producing countries, tax system, pension reform, financial crises, international economic cooperation, economic reforms. Published over 100 papers in the leading economic journals.

Mr. Gurvih is a member of the Public Council of the Russian Ministry of Finance, Deputy Editor of the New Economic Association Journal. He also holds the Gaidar Award for outstanding contribution in the field of economics (2014). 

JIEJIN Zhu, Associate Professor, School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University

Zhu Jiejin is an assoicate professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University. His research relates to Global Economic Governance, BRICS and G20, and Multilateral Development Banks. Currently, He is doing the research projects on the Designing the BRICS New Development Bank and G20 Institutional transition from Crisis institution to Steering Institution.

Discussion. Full video of the session on YouTube

Session 2. Digitalization. Impact on the economy, society, international cooperation and global governance

Session 2 Summary 

The second session focused on the impact of digitalization on the economy, society, international cooperation and global governance.

Moderator of the session Paola Subacchi opened the discussion by outlining the need to use technological transformation for the benefit of our economies and societies.

Rohinton P. Medhora stressed that the pandemic exacerbated the already existing global problems. He stressed the importance of connectivity the COVID-19 crisis revealed. In this regard, digital divide and digital security should become a focus of international cooperation. Mr. Medhora also elaborated on the trade-off between technological efficiency, privacy and human rights. Finally, he raised the issue of data quality and digital platforms management. Thus, broader international discussion on these issues and relevant problems is needed, including within the G20, with a particular focus on digital infrastructure development and data as a common good.

Marat Berdyev in his intervention mentioned that digital economy is not a novelty. He briefly outlined the main trends in the digital economy, new opportunities it brings and additional risks it poses, and mentioned it is not so easy to find a right balance between them. Mr. Berdyev outlined the Russian experience in developing the digital economy, national regulatory approaches and the main proposals for international cooperation in the UN, G20, OECD and other fora. In conclusion, he stressed that the current impasse in the global digital governance should be overcome by establishing clear rules of the game, setting universal norms and standards while not artificially limiting the legitimate maneuver in the national policy.

Karoline Postel-Vinay highlighted the emergence of the new digital economy that needs relevant global governance architecture. The structure of international cooperation and global governance raises questions about the reform of the UN and evolution of informal governance institutions. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of digitalization in today’s interdependent world. The G20 has a key role to play as a crisis manager, as it did in 2008-09. The issue of leadership in the G20 is important in this regard. Digital divide is also a challenge. Digital connectivity should be improved to enhance inclusiveness. Here, theG20 again has a role to play, as connectivity needs to be better coordinated and promoted as a global common good. Finally, the issue of future G20 activities was discussed, as more should be done not only to address the current challenges, but also help prevent or at least mitigate the consequences of the future crises.

Jonathan Luckhurst elaborated on the networked G20 governance in the post-COVID digital world. He mentioned transnational pluralism as a growing trend in global governance potentially augmented by digitalization, that can contribute to decentralizing global governance authority. Mr. Luckhurst briefly outlined the priorities of the G20 digital agenda, with its focus on the importance of information flow across borders. Digitalization effects on networked G20 governance processes are mixed. Potentially it can both humanize and dehumanize relations and practices. It also has implications for networked G20 pluralism, creating transnational networking opportunities, but at the same time leading to the lack of human dimension. Finally, he focused on the lessons from the COVID-19 crisis, in particular the new model of cooperation based on the combination of virtual and face-to-face interaction.

Vladimir Zuev made comments on what had been said by the previous speakers. He mentioned that the way we perceive problems affects our responses. For instance, trade is not perceived seriously and thus trade issues are addressed by countries individually or at the regional level. The same is true for climate change. Thus, a lot depends on how digitalization will be perceived by the global community. Of course, digitalization brings various benefits. At the same time, it can make life harder, for instance, because of the digital divide. For many people, it requires extra action on top of the normal workload. Overall, Mr. Zuev presented to cases of digitalization becoming a threat. The first one is access to data. Open access is generally beneficial, but countries tend to limit this access due to different reasons. So there is a kind of controversy. The second case is artificial intelligence and its transfer. International coordination is therefore needed, and G20’s effort to address these challenges is a key to its success.

Thus, the main idea of the session was the broad impact of digitalization on economies and societies, with data, connectivity and digital technologies becoming global public goods. International cooperation and global governance should adapt to promote these public goods, and international institutions have a key role to play. The impasse in the global digital governance should be overcome by establishing clear rules of the game and developing new cooperation models, with G20 playing the leading role.

Moderator: SUBACCHI Paola, Professor, Chair of Advisory Board, Global Policy Institute, Queen Mary University of London

Paola Subacchi is the former director of international economics research at Chatham House. She is an expert on the functioning and governance of the international financial and monetary systems, and advises governments, international organizations, non-profits, and corporations.

She is a media commentator with the BBC, Project Syndicate, the Financial Times, and writes a regular column for Foreign Policy and Huffington Post Italy. She is the author of The People’s Money. How China is building a global currency (Columbia University Press, 2017).
Paola is also a visiting professor at the University of Bologna, a non-executive director of the FTSE-listed company Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Plc, a governor of St Marylebone School in London and an advisory member of Wilton Park (FCO).

An Italian national, she studied at Università Bocconi in Milan and at the University of Oxford. In 2016 she was awarded the honour Cavaliere della Stella d’Italia.

Areas of expertise: International Monetary System; Global Financial Imbalances; International Capital Flows; International Financial Centres; Ageing and Pensions.

Past experience: 1991-94: Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Economics, Bocconi University, Milan. 1994-96: Senior Fellow, Department of Economics, Bocconi University, Milan. 1997-98: Senior European Economist, Greenwich NatWest. 1999-2000: Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Economics, Bocconi University, Milan Consultant, Bloomberg LP. 2001-04: European Economist, Oxford Economic Forecasting. 2001: Consultant, Economist Intelligence Unit. 2004-08: Head, International Economics Programme, Chatham House. 2008-17: Research Director, International Economics, Chatham House. 


MEDHORA Rohinton P., President of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Member of the Commission on Global Economic Transformation

Although we are still fighting a first phase of the COVID-19 crisis, its impacts will be manifold and enduring. Analogies have been drawn with 9/11, the Spanish Flu a century ago, the financial crisis of 2007/8, and the invention of the internet and the smart phone, all as examples of game-changing episodes. The current crisis will have some features in common with previous analogs, and some that are unique to it.

There are implications of this crisis in many dimensions. While nominally a health crisis – the world as we knew it has been felled by a bug 120-160 nanometers in diameter – the science of the issue is one among several that must be addressed. Countries and regions that have successfully managed the first wave have demonstrated the value of social cohesion, trust in the authorities and abiding by evidence-based decision-making.

Since we live in a world driven by new technologies, particularly digital technologies that are inherently “multi-use”, every tool used to adapt to or mitigate the problem has side-effects. The massive increase in virtual working and networking has laid bare the fragility of cyber communications systems – and the perils of cyber exclusion. Apps may breed a false confidence in technical fixes at the expense of more common-sense measures while leading us further down the slippery slope of a surveillance society.

A – small – bright spot in the current situation has been the alacrity with which the research world has moved to develop tests, treatments and vaccines and regulatory authorities in many countries to compress the research-to-availability process. But bigger challenges remain – to create a genuinely open global process of scientific research and dissemination, and for global scientific cooperation more broadly.

The crisis has upended economies and the parameters that guide policy responses – in countries that can afford to do so. It has also re-enforced geopolitical and geo-economic trends – particularly in the contested rise of China – that had taken shape before the pandemic. There is also the question of what the crisis will do to key global arrangements and looking ahead, what it means for the forward-looking agenda of governance in the digital world.

“Forward-looking” might be a misnomer here. What is striking about the current situation – however hurtful and discombobulating it has indeed been - is how much it reflects realities that pre-existed it. Maps of cities showing the incidence of COVID-19 by neighbourhood look remarkably like portrayals of the city’s socio-economic geography. The dichotomy between the economy and health has also been shown to be mostly false. The concern about digital technologies leading to good and bad outcomes; the role of massive global information platforms in helping or hurting our societies and their politics; and the need to revisit intellectual property rules particularly in cases where technologies have large positive or negative spillovers were all live public policy issues before the pandemic. It has only added octane to what we already knew and were grappling with. But this too is a sea-change in our thinking about the world as we knew it and where it might be headed, a direction that citizens and their governments have the capacity to shape. 

BERDYEV Marat, Russian G20 Sous-Sherpa, Deputy Director of the Department of Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Full-text presentation

Marat V. Berdyev has been serving as Deputy Director of the Department for Economic Cooperation in the Russian Foreign Ministry since 2018. He takes responsibility over Russian relationships with G20, OECD, ILO and BSEC and holds special titles of the Russian Sous-Sherpa to the G20 and Senior Official to the BSEC.

M. Berdyev graduated from Turkmen State University (1995), Russian Diplomatic Academy (2006) and Geneva Center for Security Policy (2005).

M. Berdyev has a vast experience in the multilateral diplomacy and world economy. He was stationed abroad in the Russian outposts in Kyiv (Ukraine) and Geneva (Switzerland), lastly as Deputy Chief of Mission to the WTO (2015-2018). M. Berdyev  isawarded with the Gratitude of the President of the Russian Federation (2006) 

POSTEL-VINAY Karoline, Director of Research, Centre de Recherches Internationales (CERI), Sciences Po

Karoline Postel-Vinay is a Research Professor at the Center for International Research of Sciences Po, Paris. She holds a degree in Japanese studies from the French National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations and  a Ph.D. in International Relations from Sciences Po. Her current research focuses on narratives of global order, and on connectivity politics 

LUCKHURST Jonathan, Associate Professor, the Graduate School of International Peace Studies, Soka University, Tokyo. Full-text presentation

1. Networked G20 governance 

Networked G20 governance indicative of 21st century global governance Transnational pluralism and decentralizing authority in global governance Transnational pluralism is a growing trend in global governance (potentially augmented by digitalization) Both arguably contributed to decentralizing global governance authority, facilitating influence from middle-income states and non-state actors 

Networked G20 pluralism – processes, relations, practices, actors “private, intergovernmental, supranational, state, semi-state, and/or non-state actors that contribute to global governance” 

2(i). Digitalization, G20, & global governance 

G20 agenda on digitalization increased since 2016-17, during Chinese and German presidencies 

At 2016 Hangzhou Summit, G20’s Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative document stated: 

“The digital economy refers to a broad range of economic activities that include using digitized information and knowledge as the key factor of production, modern information networks as an important activity space, and the effective use of information and communication technology (ICT) as an important driver of productivity growth and economic structural optimization. Internet, cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things (IoT), fintech and other new digital technologies are used to collect, store, analyze, and share information digitally and transform social interactions.”

2(ii). Digitalization, G20, & global governance

The G20’s 2016 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative committed to “…support ICT policies that preserve the global nature of the Internet, promote the flow of information across borders and allow Internet users to lawfully access online information, knowledge and services of their choice” Digitalization effects on diverse aspects of human relations Economy (e.g. fintech, big data, Internet of Things, information flows) Global governance (e.g. shared research, virtual summits/meetings, diplomacy)

3. Digitalization & networked G20 governance

Digitalization effects on networked G20 governance processes, relations, practices Humanizing or dehumanizing? (beyond ‘machine learning’ and ‘big data,’ qualitative human judgment and relations; BUT also Zoom, video-conferencing, shared Google drives) Technology gaps, Global South/North challenges & opportunities for G20 governance networks (is there a leveling effect, or new hierarchies?)

Implications for networked G20 pluralism

Transnational networking opportunities, enabling diverse actors to engage through Zoom, webinars, collaborate on research But direct social interactions arguably still important for network relations

4(i). Lessons from COVID-19

COVID-19 brought complex challenges for global governance

Official G20 engagement forums, e.g. the Think 20, Civil 20, Women 20, etc., are holding virtual summits & webinars to develop their policy briefs and communiqués

Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit on COVID-19 in March, & the 2020 Riyadh Summit will be held virtually in November

There are digital challenges and opportunities for networked G20 governance

  • New constraints on network interactions, despite access to policymakers – e.g. Dr. Fahad Alturki, the Saudi Think 20 Chair, noted in a T20 webinar only 5 minutes allocated to present T20 positions to G20 sherpas in a recent briefing (despite 150 policy briefs)
  • However, COVID-19 highlighted potential benefits of digital technologies for shrinking distances, opening new spaces for network interactions 

4(ii). Lessons from COVID-19
  • Think 20 policy brief (for TF 11), Transversal G20 Response to COVID-19: Global Governance for Economic, Social, Health, and Environmental Resilience
  • Transversal policy approach with G20-coordinated stakeholder engagement Joint ministerials and new ‘Pandemic Working Group’ to integrate policy insights from IOs/IFIs & non-state actors, global governance networks Building policy preparedness and institutional resilience (‘global public goods’)
  • This brief involved a transnational network of authors, collaborating via Zoom meetings, emails, Word/PDF/online documents, Internet tools (ICTs)
  • T20 (& B20, W20, etc.) networking evolving with ICTs & digitalization
  • Transnational engagement on focal issues (e.g. joint statements) could bring convergence in G20 policy circles (socialization, norms, practices)


During COVID-19 pandemic, the G20, global governance, and public policymaking have adapted, often with short-term measures

Global governance networking could facilitate more strategic policymaking, though with constraints to overcome
  • e.g. This year I could not travel to Moscow for RANEPA conference, or Riyadh for T20 and G20 summits; BUT some advantages from virtual connectivity
How might this global pandemic influence the future digital world?

  • Transversal challenges: ‘Work from home,’ infrastructure, services, still digital barriers (employees’ & firms’ costs/gains, work-life balance, child care, health care, education)
  • Networked G20 governance incorporating new practices of digital connectivity; but face-to-face relations will remain crucial

ZUEV Vladimir, Professor, Institute of Trade Policy, Department of Trade Policy, National Research University Higher School of Economics

Education: Moscow State University of International Affairs (MGIMO, RF Foreign Office) Excellency Diploma, 1972-1977. University of Sorbonne, Paris, France, exchange student 1977.

Foreign languages: English, French.

Scientific degrees: 1981, PhD in Political economy and International Economics (European studies), Thesis: ‘UK direct investments in the EU’; 2011, RF AS Degree, Doctor in Political Economy and International Economics (European studies), “The EU Supranational mechanism”.

Present position: since 2003 - Professor at National Research University “Higher School of Economics” (HSE), Moscow; since 2015 Head of the Section on Global governance and Regional Integration of the World Economy Department, HSE; since 2017 - Academic Director of the International Trade Policy joint Master program with WTI, Bern University and Kiel Institute of World Economy.

Former contracts or memberships: RF Foreign Trade Ministry, expert in “SojuzVneshtrans”, “SojuzChimexport”, internship in joint RF-French chemical co. “Sogo”(1980); Counselor to Minister of Foreign Trade (1986). 1987–2013, Centre Internationale de Formation Europeenne (CIFE), Nice, France, Council Member; 2010-14, Monasch University, Centre for European studies, Australia, member; 2011-15; Eurasian Development Bank, member of Scientific Board 2013-16; Member of Editorial Board of Trade Policy Journal, Moscow since 2015; WTO expert for Regional Trade Policy Courses (RTPCs) for government officials from WTO Members or Observers, 2018-19.

Former academic research positions: 1980-2003 at Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), RF Academy of Sciences; 1988 - 2003, Head of the EU research Department; 2005-15 Head, Chair of Global economic governance and European Integration, HSE; Laxemburg, Austria, research visit to IIASA. 

Lecturing: (ad hoc and regular basis): National Research University – HSE, School of Russian Studies (HSE), MGIMO (RF Foreign Office), National Economy Academy of the Government of Russia, St. Petersburg State University, Tomsk State University, State University in N. Novgorod, Pablo Olavide University and Sevilla University (Spain), Munich (Germany), Aosta (Italy), Bregenz and Laxemburg (IIASA, Austria), Horajdovice and Prague for the European University (Check Republic), Rennes University (France) as Professeur invitee (6 months); Lucerne University (Switzerland), 1 month at Cannon Institute (Japan); Stanford University (USA) guest Professor 2014-16; Bordeaux University, Sciences Po, guest Professor 2014-16; Course on EU-Russia economic links at CIFE, Nice, March 2018.

Major publications list: More than 3000 pages of different publications in Russia and abroad in books, magazines and newspapers on different international topics, mostly on the European Union, regional integration, trade, global governance and economic crisis, including six personal books: 

  • Regional Integration and Supra-nationality. Moscow: Magistr, 2014, 288 pp.

  • Guide on the territory of economic crisis. Moscow: Magistr 2009

  • International phenomenon of the EU supranational mechanism. Moscow: HSE publishing house, 2007, - 254 pp.

  • EU - Russia energy dialogue. M.: Lukoil, RSPP, 2007, 47pp.

  • “Britain and the European Community”, M.: “Science”, 1986, - 175 pp.

  • Problems of the Common Market. M.: “Knowledge”, 1983, - 73pp.

  • Global Economic Institutions, Editor and author of six chapters, 2016, Magistr; 

  • EU: nucleus of European integration, in book “In from the cold”, Westview Press, 1992. 2 chapters and co-editor in a book “1992 and prospects for the European integration”, M: Nauka.

  • Chapter in History of the European Integration (1945-1994) /Editor M.Emerson, 1995, – 308pp. 

  • Consequences of the EU enlargement in a book “EU enlargement to the East”, M.: Nauka, 2003. 

  • EU Lisbon process in Competitiveness and modernization of the economy, HSE, 2004, book 2. 

  • Institutions in the EU in: Economy modernization and institutions, M.: HSE, 2005, book 1

  • Chapter “EU as a model for global governance”, book: The EU in the G8. Promoting Consensus and Concerted Actions for Global Public Goods. Ed. J.Kirton, M. Larionava, Ashgate, 2011-12

  • Chapter “EU – Russia energy relations” in “Energy and Environmental Challenge” /Ed. L.Wylie/ P.Wynand. Brux: Peter Lang, 2011, - 417 pp.

  • Economic instruments of Russian external policy, co-author of a chapter in: Non-military instruments of the Russian external policy: regional and global mechanisms. Ed. M. Braterskiy, M.: HSE, 2013, pp. 78-113

  • Methodology of classification and evaluation of the forms of regional integration. Eurasian Economic Integration. 2014, N3 (24), pp. 25-43

  • New paradigm of the foreign economic links. Modern competition, M.: 2014, N2 (44), p.37-54 

  • International standardization and the global value chains. Management, M.: 2015, T 3, N 1

  • Regional integration impact on global value chains. Economy & Entrepreneurship 2015, T6, N3

  • WTO Doha Round after Bali – a new phase in the Global Trade Regulation. International Economics, M.: 2015, N2, pp 53-63;

  • Zuev V., Bislimi F., Josie J., Momani F. A., Taras D. et all. Education and Skills Development in the Context of Forced Migration. G20 insights, Germany, April 2017, Berlin. 

  • Zuev V., Ostrovskaya E., Frolova E. Sustainable economy: Do not use the Debt Widely. International Organizations Research Journal, 2017 vol.12 No.4

Discussion. Full video of the session on YouTube 

Session 3. COVID-19, Digitalization and the Sustainable Development Goals  

Session 3 Summary 

During the third session, the participants discussed multiple issues at the junction of the current epidemiological situation, rapid digitalization, and the prospects for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Opening the session, Ella Kokotsis pointed out the COVID-19 pandemic’s role in propelling the world further into the digital age, which could prove to be enormously beneficial across most of the SDGs. Despite significant advances in that direction, such as the spread of sophisticated financial services to mass markets across the globe, over 3.5 billion people remain unconnected, lacking the ability to take advantage of this digital transformation. Thus, Ms. Kokotsis concluded, that the pandemic offers unique opportunity for the G20 to harness the available digital tools and innovative mechanisms to accelerate the financing of the SDGs.

Dr. Noura Mansouri shared with the participants the Think20 vision and recommendations for this year's G20 summit under the presidency of Saudi Arabia. Among the recommendations, she mentioned: scaling up global efforts to ensure universal access to digital and financial literacy, developing capacity for cyber diplomacy and security, as well as enhancing AI capabilities for state and non-state actors. At the same time, integrating climate action into G20 economic development and stimulus initiatives should, according to Dr. Mansouri, support sustainable growth and green development worldwide.

In his intervention, Professor John Kirton provided an overview of the G20 track record on the SDGs implementation, posing a question whether the leaders can put the SDGs back on track. Mr. Kirton noted that although the G20 is uniquely responsible for providing synergetic solutions to global issues, in recent years it has done very little to advance the SDGs implementation. Most importantly, even those commitments that were made did not acknowledge the synergistic nature of the Goals, failing to establish connections between digitalization, sustainable development and climate change. In conclusion, Mr. Kirton proposed three steps for the G20: focus on the SDGs and climate change in 2021-2022; integrate digitalization into sustainable development agenda, and switch to semiannual summit cycle in the face of the global climate change and healthcare crises.

Dries Lesage focused on the relationship between the G20 and the UN in regards to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Although the 2030 Agenda put the UN back to the center of global governance, the relationship between the G20 and the UN on the SDGs implementation needs to be more productive and constructive, making use of both institutions' comparative advantages. Mr. Lesage gave a brief overview of the G20 sustainable development agenda, and the measures taken in support of the United Nations efforts, highlighting multiple roles the institution can play in the process: symbolic, operational, facilitatory, and enabling. He concluded by stating that the G20-UN collaboration on SDGs faces a number of operational risks, but represents a major opportunity to provide global governance innovation in the interest of advancing sustainable development worldwide.

Leonid Grigoriev focused on the relationship between the SDGs implementation and COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the lack of progress in combating climate change in 2015-2019. Despite positive steps by the world's major economies, global emissions continue to grow and their decline is still a long way off. Dr. Grigoriev noted inadequate preparedness of health systems to major pandemic outbreaks, underscoring the need to modify a number of SDGs to better reflect the new situation. Another pressing issue mentioned in the intervention is inequality, which continues to grow, increasing pressures on healthcare, education, and economic welfare worldwide. Dr. Grigoriev recommended reassessing the current state of affairs regarding the SDGs implementation, adopting a short list of immediate and viable objectives to prevent the critical deterioration of the situation, especially in low income and least developed countries.

Acknowledging the current challenges to global governance, including the lack of legitimacy and inclusion, Dr. Marina Larionova opined that the G20, as a leading global economic governance forum with near to universal representation, is well poised to take the responsibility for creating a new institution, that could form a core of the future digital governance architecture - the Digital Stability Board. This new body could have a mandate to identify vulnerabilities, propose new measures and monitor compliance therewith.

Jan Wouters highlighted the need to strengthen multilateral cooperation, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, on such issues as medical supply organization, and fighting trade protectionism. Mr. Wouters also addressed the importance of moving from formal to informal international lawmaking, with the G20 (as well as BRICS) being the prime example of an informal decision-making body. Such institutions are more flexible and quick to react to global issues. It is important, however, to ensure global governance forums' coordination with formal institutions, and the G20 response to COVID-19 evidences this increased interaction.

Wrapping up the session, Ms. Kokotsis once again underlined the importance of multilateral collaboration and creating synergies between various international bodies, both formal and informal, to harness the potential of digital tools in the interest of sustainable global growth.

Moderator: KOKOTSIS Ella, Director of Accountability, G8 and G20 Research Groups, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

Accelerated digitalization and innovation are the clear winners of the current COVID crisis, as hundreds of millions of people have migrated to digital platforms to work, learn, consume, entertain and socialize.

And although the world was clearly heading in this direction, COVID-19 was the watershed moment that propelled us into the digital future, much faster than anyone anticipated.

This COVID-inspired digital dividend could prove to be enormously beneficial across most of the UN’s sustainable development goals - from helping to deliver on global environmental commitments, to improving public health, enabling better access to education and mitigating the effects of climate change.

Whether we can actually capitalize on this digital dividend will invariably depend on how these emerging technologies reshape global finance.

The UN’s Digital Task Force reported earlier this year that digitalization is already making a significant difference to financing the SDGs, as mobile platforms and big data are bringing sophisticated financial services to mass markets, thus enabling more than 2 billion people to spend trillions of dollars online annually.

On the other hand, over 3.5 billion people remain unconnected, thus lack the ability to take advantage of this digital transformation. Women, youth, and other disadvantaged groups still rely heavily on unregulated financial services through a lack of access to reliable technology platforms.

The G20, under Argentina’s Presidency did, for the first time, consider this nexus between sustainable development and digitalization, particularly in the area of finance.

Today we’ll hear from our panel of five very distinguished speakers, as they delve further into this question of how COVID has accelerated the growth of this digital ecosystem, how it’s impacted the UN’s SDGs, and what we can expect from the Saudi presidency at November’s G20 summit.


DR. MANSOURI, Nauri, Research Fellow, Energy Transitions and Electric Power, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), Lead Chair of Climate Change and Environment Task Force, Saudi Arabia Think 20 Presidency

KIRTON John, Co-Founder And Director, G7 Research Group, Founder And Co-Director, G20 Research Group, University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

In September 2015, world leaders gathered at the United Nations to launch the historic 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. When they returned in September 2019, they found some progress had been made. Then came COVID-19, to destroy 30 years of development in 30 weeks. Thus far, COVID-19 has crushed SDG-17, rather than the reverse.

Can G20 leaders put the SDGs back on track? To do so, they must mobilize the critical instrument of digitalization. It was absent from the SDGs of 2015, but COVID-19 has made it central now. They also need digitalization to help control the current, existential crisis of climate change, which is key to achieving the SDGs as an integrated whole.

How well have G20 leaders done this, so far? Very badly, the evidence shows.

G20 summits did nothing to recognize the emerging SDG’s before their launch in September 2015.

Two months later, at Antalya in November 2015, G20 leaders made only three commitments on the SDG’s and complied with them at only 50%. Only one referred to climate change and none to digitalization.

At Hangzhou in 2016, G20 leaders produced six commitments on the SDGs and complied with them highly at 93%. But still, only one referred to climate change and none to digitalization.

Then came the Hamburg high in 2017, when G20 leaders made 40 commitments on the SDGs and complied with them at 88%. Now, four linked to climate change, always in the form of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. And four different ones linked to digitalization, in its economic forms. But none linked to both. Separated silos, not synergies still prevailed, amidst the Hamburg high.

Then came the plunge. At Buenos Aires in 2018, G20 leaders made only one commitment on the SDGs, with no links to climate change or digitalization at all.

At Osaka in 2019, there were 12 SDG commitments and 83% compliance, but still no links to climate change or digitalization.

And on March 26, 2020, COVID-19 completely crowded out the SDG’s, climate change and the environment as a whole. Digitalization got three words.

The UN SDGs were explicitly designed to be synergistic, with each of the 17 directly supporting all the rest. The government leaders that launched them at the UN and supported them at the G20 are uniquely responsible for devising and delivering synergistic solutions that benefit all of them. This is especially important in our resource constrained, Covid-19 world. Yet as the G20’s March 26th summit shows, COVID-19 has now obliterated the primacy that Saudi Arabia innovatively gave to the SDGs, climate change and the environment, when it first chose its priorities for its Riyadh Summit, due a mere six weeks from now.

At Riyadh G20 leaders must restore their centrality and synergy, and integrate digitalization, to save the SDGs and save the world from climate change and COVID-19 too. They can start by taking three steps.

First, they should mandate a focus on the SDGs and climate change at their subsequent G20 summits in 2021 and 2022.

Second, they should fully integrate digitalization into them, both at the G20 and the UN.

Third, they should hold a second annual G20 summit, at the opening of United Nations General Assembly in September in New York, to advance the SDGs and to fully integrate climate change and digitalization into them.

[At the start of G20 summitry from 2008 to 2010, amidst the global financial crisis raging then, G20 leaders readily and successfully met twice a year to conquer it. Then they went into semi-retirement, meeting only once a year ever since. Now, more than ever, it’s time for their successors to return to full time work.]

GRIGORYEV Leonid M., Chief Advisor to the Head of the Analytical Center under the Government of the Russian Federation

Leonid M. Grigoryev graduated from the Faculty of Economics of Moscow State University, holds a PhD in Economics. L. Grigoryev improved his qualification in Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates and the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD, France). Since 1990 L. Grigoryev serves as an expert in the work of the Government Commission for Economic Reform. In 1991-1992 he was Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance of the Russian Federation and the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Investment. In the 1992-1997 he was anAdvisor to the Directorate of the Russian IBRD. Since 2000 L/ Grigoryev is aMember of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, the Committee for Development Policy at the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the Advisory Council for the economy as part of the Innovation Education Project at the National Training Fund. L. Grigoryev is the Head of World Economy Department at the National Research University - Higher School of Economics, Chairman of the Board of the World Wildlife Fund of the Russian Federation (WWF-Russia). He is also amember of the editorial board of Russia's strategy, the Scientific Advisory Board of the journal Russia in Global Affairs.

LESAGE Dries, Director, Ghent Institute of International Studies, Ghent University – Department of Political Studies. Full-text presentation

Dries Lesage is an Associate Professor of Globalisation and Global Governance at Ghent University. There he chairs the Ghent Institute for International Studies (GIIS). Dries Lesage has been working with UNU-CRIS on global tax collaboration in relation to development and the Sustainable Development Goals, including a fruitful international seminar in January 2019, a UNU-CRIS Working Paper (2019) and a forthcoming edited book (all co-organised and co-authored with Leiden University’s Prof. Irma Mosquera and Ghent University’s Dr. Wouter Lips).

Dries Lesage holds a Master in Political Science (1998) and a PhD in Political Science (2002, Ghent University). He teaches Globalisation and Global Governance, Theories of International Relations and History of World Politics (1815-present) at Ghent University. He also teaches International Relations Theory in the Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences, jointly organised by Ghent University and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His current research interests include key trends and reforms in the multilateral architecture, global tax governance (including regional tax organisations) and Turkish politics. Publications include Rising Powers and Multilateral Institutions (Palgrave, 2015, with Thijs Van de Graaf) and ‘The BRICs and International Tax Governance : The Case of Automatic Exchange of Information’ in New Political Economy (2020, with Wouter Lips and Mattias Vermeiren).

LARIONOVA Marina V., Head of the Center for International Institutions Research (CIIR), Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)

On the Road to Global Digital Governance

I would like to add a couple of reflections to the discussion on addressing the gaps in global digital governance. 

First, the current fragmented construction of digital governance bears the risks of crisis as the result of the international regulatory system weakness, as happened in the 2008 crisis caused by the systemic financial regulation problems.

What we observe now is the new regulatory mechanisms and approaches concurrently being shaped in the key international institutions, including the UN, ITU, WTO, OECD, EU, G20 and BRICS. And if there is some relation between the G20 and the OECD, the EU and the OECD processes, they seem to be decoupled from the UN consultations on the digital cooperation architecture led by the UN Secretary General.

As you know the Secretary General Roadmap for Digital Cooperation considers three models proposed by the High-level Panel in 2019: a strengthened and enhanced Internet Governance Forum Plus, a distributed co-governance architecture (networked approach) and a digital commons architecture (multiple tracks each owned by a UN agency).

The Internet Governance Forum Plus seems to emerge as the preferred model. However, the consultations continue with a view to identify possible complementarity of the other two models features and pilot the distributed co-governance approach at the national or regional levels. While the expected outcome will apparently be inclusive in membership, democratic in design and legitimate in the inception, it is likely to lack capacity, efficiency, authority and operational speed needed to identify vulnerabilities, develop policy proposals and monitor implementation.

Second, we already have several influential institutions shaping plurilateral regulation.

The OECD is gaining influence in digital governance. It is based on the combined economic power and digital leadership of the member states, its reputation as a unique international expert forum, the quality of its normative activities, a high dynamics of norm-setting, intensive engagement with partners and promotion of its norms and standards through the international institutions, including the G20.

The EU consolidates regulatory leadership in digital governance and the ability to enhance its influence over other actors due to attractiveness of the EU consumer market, a well-developed bureaucratic system; a very strong and comprehensive legal system, ensuring law enforcement; a high authority which allows to promote the EU standards as a priori the best; as well its significant role in international organizations.

However, neither the OECD nor the EU-led institution could become or would be accepted as truly global equally shared by the developed countries, emerging economies and developing countries. They would be perceived as consolidating the balance of power embodied by the Bretton Woods system, successfully resisting decades-long endeavors for its reform.

Third, there are many other interesting ideas, such as setting up a Data Standards Task Force to help create a “single data zone,” where “trustworthy data can circulate freely between participating jurisdictions sharing similar values” . The proposal envisions that the right alliance should initially include advanced countries, such as Canada, the European Union, the United States and Japan and subsequently may expand to other nation-states. This approach as well creation of regional mechanisms would be easier to launch, but will not overcome the problem of digital governance fragmentation.

Fourth, as Rohinton emphasized earlier, what is needed is truly global new digital governance architecture. I strongly support the CIGI proposal that the G20 is the right forum to take the responsibility for creating new institutions and process, and not only because G20 is representative and had a similar experience setting up the Financial Stability Board. Most importantly, digital economy development is crucial for attaining the G20 goal of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth and thus should be inherent to the G20 agenda. I believe that the G20 should take the responsibility and demonstrate leadership by establishing Digital Stability Board with the mandate to identify vulnerabilities, propose global standards, regulations, and policies on the multiple issues of data governance and platform economy and monitor their implementation.

Bringing together the G20 members, key institutions engaged in digital governance and other relevant stakeholders, this new institution would help prevent the crisis imminent in the laissez-faire regulatory approach and enable adequate participation of major developing and emerging market economies in shaping global digital economy governance.

Fifth, and most importantly, given the current geopolitical landscape, full of tensions and divides, the decision would require a really strong political will and commitment. Is it feasible? Will the world leaders be able to rise above the contradictions and short-term interests to start building institutions for the 21st century?

I hope that the session on the future of global governance will shed some light on the issue. 

WOUTERS Jan, Director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, Director of the Institute for International Law, Professor of International Law and International Organizations, KU Leuven. Full video of the intervention


The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated – if there was still a need for this – that our lives are not confined to what happens or is decided within our national borders. The coronavirus outbreak has spread around the world with such speed and vehemence that it has left governments and multilateral organizations scrambling to formulate a timely response. Looking back, many agree that, initially, a coordinated international response was absent.

Besides focusing primarily on healthcare measures, countries are currently gearing up for the economic repercussions that inevitably will be, and are in fact already being, felt at home. We see protectionism growing and global supply chains shrinking. However, in the move to safeguard their economies, individual countries should realize the importance of global solutions.

The Covid-19 pandemic illustrates the need for a coordinated response to global issues. To curb the pandemic, international coordination on how to organize the supply of medical equipment has been of extreme importance, and it will continue to be so once a vaccine is available. Instead of retreating to nationalist and protectionist tendencies, countries should recognize the importance of multilateral cooperation in order to respond effectively to the pandemic, but also to (continue to) tackle other cross-border problems, such as economic recessions, climate change and migration. Now, more than ever, is not the time to turn away from international institutions and international joint initiatives.

Move from formal to informal lawmaking 

Well-before the pandemic, it has become clear that formal international institutions are having a difficult time in reaching agreement on policies and traditional international instruments to reach common goals. Many international norms that have emerged in recent years are not set out in formal treaties, nor have they been developed in the context of formal international organizations. International lawmaking is increasingly becoming informal, as we noted already in a research project on informal law-making some 10 years ago. We see much more processes taking place within networks or informal groups, involving a multitude of stakeholders, and leading to guidelines, standards or best practices.

Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, we see that this move towards informal lawmaking to address current issues is persisting. 

Example: G20 

One good example of such informal lawmaking in the wake of Covid-19 is undoubtedly the G20. As our annual conferences have noticed time and again, since its formation, the G20 has promoted coordination amongst its Members and steered decision-making internationally despite it merely being an international forum and not a formal international organization. Amidst the global pandemic, we have seen the G20 committed to enhance global cooperation and improve financial and health outlooks in the wake of Covid-19. One notable commitment evidencing how informal lawmaking by the G20 can have a significant impact is the Debt Service Suspension Initiative agreed on 15 April 15 2020. G20 Members agreed to a time-bound suspension of debt service payments for the poorest countries, ensuring those nations are supported in their efforts to protect lives and alleviate the economic and financial crises resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. They agreed on a coordinated approach with a common term sheet providing the key features for this initiative, which is also agreed by the Paris Club. 

Example: BRICS

In line with the traditions of our conferences, I would also like to mention the BRICS here. Most of the BRICS countries have been hit extremely hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite facing challenges at home, they have however persisted in their international joint initiatives, which are also a form of informal international lawmaking. Already in 2015, the BRICS STI Framework Programme was endorsed, aiming to support excellent research on priority areas best addressed by a multinational approach. Through this Programme, BRICS countries have, over the years, expanded among other things cooperation in the fight against infections and in the joint production of vaccines. Specifically, in response to Covid-19, BRICS countries recently called for multinational research projects under this Programme to facilitate cross-border cooperation. While informal lawmaking is not something new and was present even before the pandemic arose, it is not surprising that Covid-19 sparked increased use of these informal networks and groups, such as the G20 and BRICS. Faced with such a large-scale and fast-moving situation, the flexible and agile nature of informal lawmaking is much more adept at providing the necessary coordination. This in contrast with the more traditional international institutions and instruments that are slowed down by bureaucracy.

Nonetheless, formal institutions remain vital 

Nonetheless, formal international institutions and organizations are as necessary as ever. The international response to Covid-19 has shown us that we are not replacing traditional international lawmaking with informal lawmaking. The international community is changing in a way as to allow for an increased interaction between both. And this can only be commended. 

 The G20’s response to Covid-19 evidences this increased interaction:

- Think of the G20’s call during its Extraordinary Leaders’ Summit in March 2020 to present a united front against the pandemic. In response, the WHO, World Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others have launched the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. This Accelerator has brought together governments, scientists, businesses, civil society and global health organizations to support the development and fair distribution of tests, treatments and vaccines. A clear example of formal and informal organizations collaborating on an international level.

- Apart from its own commitment to suspend particular debt service payments, the G20 also called on Multilateral Development Banks in April 2020 to explore similar options. The AIIB has, for example, already launched a Covid-19 Crisis Recovery Facility in response.

Looking forward

Based on what we have seen and learned in the past months we could ask ourselves whether international cooperation will move to new levels in a post Covid-19 world. As mentioned, the Covid-19 pandemic has clearly resulted in numerous informal international lawmaking initiatives due to the more flexible nature of these groups, like the G20 and BRICS, in comparison with traditional international institutions. However, what we have also seen is that this rise in informal international lawmaking does not lead to inactivity on the part of traditional institutions. More and more, the coordination and policy-steering done by informal groups is incentivizing international organizations to also promote more cross-border programs or initiatives. Here, I think of the ACT Accelerator, where the WHO has combined its efforts with a wide range of different international actors. However, we must not lose sight of the importance of traditional legal institutions and instruments as well. We still of course see traditional lawmaking being used to address challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Example: International Health Regulations (2005)

An example here are the International Health Regulations, a binding instrument of international law that was agreed upon in 2005 by 196 countries in response to previous outbreaks. Member States undertook to report to the WHO and to prepare and respond to any disease outbreaks that could become a threat to global public health. However, when faced with the coronavirus, the IHR failed to meet its preventive objective. Implementation by Member States was not satisfactory. In order to prevent future pandemics from arising, the revision of this traditional legal instrument and its full implementation by WHO Member States is advisable. In May 2020, the World Health Assembly of the WHO adopted a Resolution in which Member States were requested to act in accordance with the IHR. In addition, the Resolution asked for a review of these IHR. Just last month, the WHO opened the initial meeting of an international panel tasked with this review. Here, again, we see a role for traditional lawmaking to tackle today’s challenges. Interestingly, we can again see some interaction with informal groups as well. The G20 Members also made the commitment to support the full implementation of the WHO IHR in their March 2020 statement.


The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted yet again the great need for multilateral cooperation to face global challenges. International coordination on policy and decision-making is necessary to resolve global health crises but also tackle other global challenges. If the Covid-19 pandemic is a foreboding for the future, we will continue to see growing interaction between formal and informal lawmaking to address such challenges. 

Moderator's Concluding Remarks 

Based on our panelists’ remarks, we can all agree that this unprecedented global crisis, brought on by COVID-19, provides a very unique opportunity for the G20 to harness these digital tools and innovative mechanisms to accelerate the financing of the UN’s SDGs – and in so doing, create the capacity to build greener, more climate-resistant economies.

But in order for digitalization to enable the delivery of the SDGs, the G20 will need to commit to combining these technology advances with sound public policy thru cross-sectoral partnerships with governments, corporations and nonprofits.

Discussion. Full video of the session on YouTube

Session 4. The outlook of global economic governance

Session 4 Summary 

The moderator of the session, Victoria Panova, invited the participants to share their views on economic problems of the global governance.

Jonathan Fried started his speech, as he said, with the main idea discussed at the conference – tendency to greater fragmentation in the COVID-19 world, and the trade-off between unilateral and multilateral approaches. The speaker underlined the strengthening regionalization in trade, economy and politics. Fragmentation is also typical of the digital realm: from the one hand, there are increasing concerns about cybersecurity and data protection, from the other – the pressure for openness. International institutions and even social groups are becoming more and more fragmented. The second trend, which Mr. Fried mentioned is digitalization. Third, he highlighted social issues, such as growing inequality. All these trends and challenges they pose are interconnected. G20’s role is to enable the environment, where effective domestic actions can be transformed into collective ones. Finally, heterogeneity was mentioned: the exchange of best practices and effective harmonization of actions across different priorities is impossible without G20 engaging in broader dialogue with different stakeholders, not only governments.

Marek Rewizorski continued the discussion of the social domain and focused on populism in modern governance. He provided the examples of “pandemic populists”. The tendency to use COVID-19 crisis in the domestic politics would lead to the two phenomena: the first is the rising resistance to global governance, and the second is increasing discrimination against foreigners. The best way to address these challenges is finding the right balance between globalization and national sovereignty. The improving quality of governance could help avoid both hyper-globalization and over-protection of national interests, and G20 has an important role to play in this regard.

Jose Eduardo Malta de Sa Brandao stressed the main side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic – the retraction of economic activity worldwide. The consequences of the pandemic on international trade occurred in at least three ways: reduced import capacity and demand for imported items, restrictions on exports in some countries, and restrictions on transportation. Thus, the pandemic can accelerate a preexisting trend of value chains nationalization. Adoption of restrictive measures in a post-pandemic world would lead to a further retraction in economic activity, would bring losses in productivity and increase levels of poverty and inequality. The pandemic also exposed several problems of international coordination in crisis management. Thus, international institutions, like G20, WTO, BRICS, OECD, and regional integration fora are important spaces for action, and they need to be used and strengthened during and after the crisis.

Daniel Bradlow stated that the COVID-19 crisis has rearranged the flaws in global economic governance. It appears that the post-World War 2 consensus is no longer capable of addressing challenges we are facing now. De-facto global economic governance turned out to be fragile. Mr. Bradlow summarized the responses of international institutions, such as the IMF, WB, MDBs, UN, G20 and G7, to the crisis. States themselves cannot resolve all the problems and new challenges require collective solutions and actions. However, as the old order does not fit for the current reality, we need a new approach to institutional arrangements of global governance, with a greater role of non-state actors, better expertise, more effective coordination, and improved accountability. In short, we need to begin preparing new models and new standards, so that when the crisis comes we have the “ideas that are lying around”.

The intervention of Sang-Chul Park was devoted to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the consequences of India’s withdrawal. He briefly outlined theoretical debates on the issue, highlighting that RCEP is the largest mega-FTA. For China, it acts as a rising strategy in the region. For Korea, Japan and ASEAN ts is a matter of concern. At the same time, Indian position in RCEP is weak, so its withdrawal does not largely affect this FTA, contrary to the case of the US and its withdrawal from the CPTPP. Nevertheless, RCEP doors are open for India.

Moderator: PANOVA Victoria, Managing Director, National Committee on BRICS Research, Vice-rector for International Relations, Far Eastern Federal University, Scientific adviser of the 2020 BRICS Russia Organizing Committee Expert Council

Victoria Panova is a Managing Director of National Committee on BRICS Research, Vice-rector for International Relations of the Far Eastern Federal University and Scientific adviser of the 2020 BRICS Russia Organizing Committee Expert Council.

Victoria Panova holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO), and since August 2004, is an Associate Professor of International Relations, Department of International Relations and Russian Foreign Policy in the same University. She is also the Director of the Russian branch of the G8 Research Group, G20 and BRICS (based at the University of Toronto) since June 2003. Currently she is the Director of the Oriental Studies Institute, at the School of Regional and International Affairs of the Far Eastern Federal University.


FRIED Jonathan T., Prime Minister of Canada’s Personal Representative for the G20 and Coordinator, International Economic Relations (2017-2020)

What I heard in the sessions today is an underlying theme of fragmentation. Fragmentation in numerous dimensions. We’re seeing increasing competition between multilateral approaches and regional or plurilateral approaches. That’s true in trade — two says more than 400 operational free trade agreements ranging from bilateral to mega regional. We are seeing fragmentation in production thanks to COVID-19 acceleration of regionalization and reshoring of supply chains rather than an integrated global approach. There’s a potential fragmentation of things digital, not only because of competing standards for seeking industrial advantage but also concerns of fundamental societal values ranging from personal security and cyber security and on the other hand pressures for open flow of data and collective use of technology on the other. And we’re seeing fragmentation of informal groupings alongside international organizations — the International Monetary Fund website has a working page last updated in 2019 on the “Guide to the Gs,” beginning with the G3 and G5, through G7, through to the G77 and G90. Includes groupings such as those trade agreements like Mercosur. It’s been a tradition whether in the UN or IMF or trade circles to see caucuses of likeminded groups — the Cairns Group vs. the Friends of Fish. We saw that 30 years ago in the negotiations of the Law of the Sea, which was not north-west or east-west but coastal vs. fishing states vs. least developed countries vs. landlocked countries. So some fragmentation is natural as countries seek commonalities and some is local.

Second, to restate the obvious, whether it’s digitalization or Fourth Industrial Revolution, it pervades all the discussion that the impact of digitalization is pervasive on the way business is done, how money crosses borders and payments made to the principle production of goods, as we look ahead to 3D printing — which puts border tariffs as irrelevant if the only thing crossing borders is data and production becomes local.

Third, a major theme is socialization. Many speakers have highlighted fundamentally human concerns, about disparity in income between wage earners and executives, based on race, ethnicity, gender, level of development. Rise of populism and protest in so many countries not a surprising response to that. Another dimension of socialization to draw out is the increasing awareness, certainly among the public and hopefully among governments, of the challenges of the global commons. While climate change is maybe primordial and paramount, it’s not exclusive. The debates about the blue economy, health of oceans, overuse and use of agricultural lands all also reflect the increasingly social dimension to the challenges that face us.

The challenges are myriad and intersecting, and you can’t take one without viewing the connections to the other dimensions.

What is to be done? Many criticize the G20 for being less effective or robust than in comparison to the global financial crisis. In part true, but in part symptomatic of the nature of the challenges we face. If I’m right about the human dimension and the fact that our publics are engaged and concerned, and so much driven by domestic concerns, then governments democratic or otherwise have to be acceptable to their own people. So much of the action and reaction ends up being domestic in nature. Think about the first weeks and months after global recognition of the pandemic: it was understandable and excusable that a government would say first I have to protect my own citizens, so make sure there’s enough personal protective equipment at home. So we witnessed a number of measures taken to put citizens first. Balance that with what the G20 said early on and repeated: we recognize the imperatives of public health may require emergency measures, but they should be transparent and proportionate to immediately needs. And we still saw collective agreement, including the United States and China, and Europe, saying yes we will be restrained and will aim for a cooperative environment. On the financial side, everybody — everybody! — has had to scrounge to find the stimulus to keep people employed, small businesses going, meet immediate health needs. The G20 readily agreed on a debt moratorium, so temporary relief for the least developed, and we will see in a week or two whether it will be extended. So there has been, notwithstanding different views about health or effectiveness of the World Trade Organization or the World Health Organization or some modicum of international cooperation. At worst I’d give the G20 a mixed grade rather than a failing grade.

Having talked about fragmentation and socialization, let me talk about the heterogeneity of governance. The G20 has never been an institution of jurisdiction. It was never given a charter or mandate or constitution or formal decision-making role It’s a caucus unique among many others, because it’s not likeminded, necessarily, but on the other hand 85% of gross domestic product, 70% of global population, 85% of the world’s emissions, all with 19 countries plus the European Union. Not an unrepresentative group to allow candid exchange of views. Being elevated to the leaders’ level means any issue is on the table, which allows exchanging best practices and fiscal perspectives and to ensure some coherence. Can it decide for the world? No. Can it take views to the necessary institutions? Yes. Does it allow countries to take lessons learned home? Yes, that’s a benefit of bringing leaders together regularly. But digital discussion reflects that the reality goes beyond xxx multistakeholder in nature. Rulemaking, decision making and policy making require the input and participation of actors beyond governments to be effective. A “digital stability board” is interesting — the Financial Stability Board brings together treasuries and central bankers and securities regulators but also industry representatives. The International Social Security Association is at the table. How we regulate domain names, through ICANN, debate over content vs. conduit — who is interested? It’s not just the FANGS but ultimately the consumers and users as well. So many discussions on things digital require participation and input of stakeholder beyond government. It’s not unprecedented, if we think about past rule making: the land mines convention had the active participation of civil society groups, to take one example beyond the economy. It’s not unprecedented to think about ways to tackle issues by having governments better engage with stakeholders. We do a less good a job on trade other than those who speak loudest and often have the most protectionist views. But there too it should be possible to open up and allow discussion. 

Congratulations to you — the public policy community through research and evidence-based analysis and forward thinking is an important contributor. So you’re an essential part of finding our way through the crisis.

REWISORSKI Marek, associate professor, Gdansk University

Between hyperliberalism and national policy space. Is there a way to mitigate populist risks for global economic governance in the Post-Covid-19 world?

Observation of the rift between global governance sometimes perceived at the ultimate framework for economic globalization, with democracies which have the right to protect their social arrangements, may lure some researchers to advise heavy rebalancing from global governance to national governance. Global (economic) governance – is under the heavy fire of a new vox populi underscoring cultural and socio-economic sources of opposition to liberal economics.

This presentation will create opportunity to reflect upon (1) justification of decisive shifts toward national governance, (2) risks which remain hidden for seekers of guarantees avoiding extreme unfairness of globalisation, and (3) will outline alternative solutions translated into the middle way between hyperliberalism/hyperglobalisation and more national ‘policy space’ approach that saves the day.

1. The Covid-19 pandemic is bringing with it a major economic and financial crisis. In the last OECD Economic Outlook (OECD, 2020), annual global GDP growth was projected to fall to 2.4% in 2020, from an already weak 2.9% in 2019, with GDP growth in China that could be below 5% and most of European economies suffering stagnation or recession.

2. The drivers of the crisis are the slowdowns in production and consumption in the months of most acute diffusion of the pandemic. In case of European economies closely integrated in global value chains, they will probably suffer from a ‘supply-chain contagion’ (Baldwin and Weder di Mauro, 2020). Major negative spillover can be at least partly compensated by indirect fiscal stimulous - income support measures introduced by governments (guaranteed incomes, tax relief, etc.). In fact this the answer to the crisis offered by the administration of the U.S. President D. Trump who putts pressure on Congress to pass a 2 trillion USD coronavirus stimulus deal. Corona package includes supporting the costs of an underfunded and highly unequal healthcare system, helping firms, extending unemployment benefits and family leave, and even sending money directly to US citizens. However, as noted by Paul Krugman in one of the early commentaries Trump may be an inadequate leader in the face of this emergency.

3. For socio-economic populists such as Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who rails against business interests and sides with the poor, rejects global governance and promotes local govenance - utilizing income support measures may be super inportant. It allows to elevate such leaders as „men of the people” who attack unfairness of globalisation and target inquality as result of neoliberal policies which transalte into wealth disparities. For cultural populists such asas D. Tramp, Jair Bolsonaro or Victor Orban seeing majority ethnic/religious-group natives as „the true people” and immigrants, ethnic/religious minorities and cultural elites as „the other”, detachment from common framing of global solutions and the crisis are used to further the cultural conflicts that brought them to power.

4. In case of both socio-economic and cultural populists which can be labbeled as ‘pandemic populists’ one thing is common. Shift toward local Corona and post-coronavirus governance, regardless if they taken an illiberal response, assuming excessive emergency powers or used the crisis to crack down on political opponents in a long term, might be a catalyst for: (1) building their stronger domestic position and raising resistance against any forms of goveranance at a global level (2) amplifying anti-globalisation signals and boost rolling back liberalisation, and increase discrimination against foreigners – migrants, companies, or investments perceived as a threat to national security

5. These concerns are not properly recognised by some researchers who advise heavy rebalancing from global governance to national governance. One of them is Dani Rodrik known for his critical approach to deeper economic integration. He calls global governance a “false promise” arguing that civil society is national, and so are nation–states, and the world economy should be cured at the domestic level. He seeks major drivers of the rise of populism in the uncompensated adjustment costs and redistributive effects of economic globalisation, He fleshes out the matter of inequalities and sovereignty being restricted by the ‘dark spectre’ of globalisation.

6. While Rodrik makes a good point in perceiving major drivers of the rise of populism his deep criticism of hyperglobalisation or hyperliberalism and call for decisive shift toward national governance does not guarantee avoiding extreme unfairness of globalization, and playing on fear against its consequences by populists. The middle way between hyperliberalism/hyperglobalisation and more national ‘policy space’ approach, may rather be improving quality of domestic policies by identifying good regulatory practices and encouraging learning which, in turn, might decrease the burden set on domestic policy, enhance good governance, and influence perceptions of globalisation as (more) fair proces, instead of coining it as the cause of the current malaise. Obtaining these goals is dependent on developing international cooperation in spheres of global governance.

7. One example of such cooperation which has the power of dissolve populist pressure at regional level is broadly discussed in Europe plan of corona bonds, another iteration of euroobligations which would enable European countries to get funds to support increased spending and lower taxes without increasing their national debt. Contrary to Rodrik poining at globalisation as a ‘thick’ ideology weakening nation-states, undermining sovereignty and democracy and misleading ‘the people’ with the empty promises of the elitist framework of global economic governance, this is not globalisation or global governance but sovereignity which as political and archaic westfalian discusive artifact creates a risk for democracies and a feeding ground for populists. Coronabonds which might push the EU from local to global governance and serve as the external engine enhancing democratic political forces. The difficulty is this shift demands a major political choice to transfer sovereignty, on a whole range of issues, from the national to the European level. For now this is unlikely for political reasons.

8. Perhaps the most viable solution is to continue incremental work of global governance institutions such as the G20. One example worth at least recalling is the G20 declaration to enhance Global Cooperation and Safeguarding the Global Economy agreed on Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit in March 2020. The G20 pledged to (1) inject over $5 trillion into the global economy, as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic (2) coordinated global response with front-line international organizations, such as the WHO, IMF, WBG, and multilateral and regional development banks to anti-crisisfinancial package; (3) finaly cooperate International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to monitor the pandemic's impact on employment.

9. Succesful implementation gives hope to at least partial improvement of financing public health systems which play a fundamental role in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. As Joseph Stiglitz (2020) argued, “when we face a crisis like an epidemic or a hurricane, we turn to government, because we know that such events demand collective action”. Maybe shift form westphalian to post-westhalian sovereignity and from local to (more) global governace is worth consideration.

de sa BRANDAO Jose Eduardo Malta, Deputy Director, International Research on Political and Economic Affairs, Institute for Applied Economic Research

Pandemic and World Economic Retraction

One of the main side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic was the retraction of economic activity worldwide. This process took place through at least three mechanisms.

• First, the movement reduction of people and increased uncertainty, leading to a retraction in supply and demand

• Second, many Governments have suspended the operation of various economic activities, which has reduced the supply of goods and services.

• Third, Governments have directly restricted the movement of people in several cases (suspending or limiting passenger transport, for example), which has reduced the job offer.

Impact on International Trade

Its consequences on international trade occurred in at least three ways.

First, the downturn in domestic economic activity has reduced import capacity and demand for imported items. 

Second, several governments have introduced restrictions on exports in order to avoid shortages of the domestic market, especially health items or other essential items (food, for example); Until June, around ninety countries have imposed some kind of restriction of this type.

Third, restrictions on transport have reduced the international flow of goods and services.

National Incentives and Barriers

During the pandemic, we saw the growth of discussions about the globalization process of value chains and supply chains.

In the track of this discussion, the Pandemic could accelerate a preexisting trend of value chains nationalization, whose objective would be to guarantee internal supply.

It can include: • Domestic production incentives

• Restrictions of international access to the domestic market

• Many types of Subsidies

• More access to credit

• And the creation of new innovation policies In addition, governments could discourage the export of certain products by introducing barriers or removing various forms of incentives, like tax or credit.


Adoption of restrictive measures in a post-pandemic world would lead to a further retraction in economic activity, would bring losses in productivity and increase levels of poverty and inequality.

In this sense, organizations from different areas have recommended the reduction (not the increase) of trade barriers, including the World Health Organization and the World Bank.

For this reason, it is recommended that Brazil and the World do not adopt protectionist measures, but, on the contrary, seeks to emphasize that any changes in international standards must be the result of multilateral decisions.

International Coordination in Crisis Management

Another important issue is the International Coordination in Crisis Management.

Pandemic exposed several problems of international coordination in crisis management.

At this point we need to be careful.

An eventual retraction in the coordination and in the international cooperation activities would contribute to widen inequalities and increase the chances of new pandemics and other crisis

As an example, vaccination policies conducted in an environment of little international cooperation would have a higher cost and would not reach a large part of the poor population of less developed countries, which would have an impact not only in these countries, but worldwide.

PARK Sang-Chul, Professor, Graduate School of Knowledge Based Technology and Energy, Korea Polytechnic University. Full-text presentation 

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) without Indian Participation: Can it Work or Be Disturbed as a Mega FTA?

1. Introduction
Global trade as engine of economic growth

- COVID-19 pandemic reducing 13~32% of merchandise trade in 2020

RCEP without India in Nov. 2019

- Asia Pacific as common ground for mega FTAs: RCEP vs. CPTPP - Open doors for India to RCEP & for USA to CPTPP

Main research questions

- Chinese strategies for RCEP & roles of RCEP in Asia Pacific

- Reasons for Indian withdrawal

- Functions of RCEP without India

2. Theoretical Debates

Trade theory based on comparative advantage and economies of scale

Static model based on neo-liberalism

- Urging nation’s equilibrium for trade outcome

- Danger based on short run partial equilibrium efficiency gains

Dynamic model based on long term efficiency gains

- Contributing to economic growth and benefit of society

- Needed to develop linkages between trade and technology as well as trade and institutional quality

Adopting dynamic model

- Explaining regional economic integration based on Mega FTAs

3. RCEP as Largest Mega FTA

East Asia led by ASEAN launching RCEP negotiations in 2013

- RCEP led by China as first region-wide FTA: ASEAN +3 (Korean approach), ASEAN+6 (Japanese approach)

- RCEP for China as counter strategy against TPP led by USA

- RCEP for ASEAN as tool for integrating ASEAN+1 FTA & including WTO guidelines

- CPTPP as no longer rival for RCEP

RCEP targeting to complete in 2020 for free trade commitment

- RCEP as world largest trade bloc in 2018

RCEP as rising tool for China in the region & strong concerns of Japan, Korea, ASEAN existing
- Strategic advantages of RCEP for China, Japan, & India
India’s withdrawal from RCEP
- Rejecting 20 chapters of agreement singing in 2020
- Confronting domestic economic conditions
- Indian protectionist views on trade in agricultural sector & textile
- Increasing trade deficit with China
- Geo-political discomfort toward China

No big impact of India’s withdrawal on RCEP

4. Analysis on RCEP and India’s Withdrawal

Intensifying regional economic integration since 1990s
- Developing RPC & RSC from Japan (1970s), Korea (1990s) & China (2000s)
- Becoming one of three trade blocs without legal binding
- Increasing regional intra trade & FDI in all sub regions
Reasons for Indian’s withdrawal
- Lowest trade intensity & negative trade balance with RCEP: 24%, -40.3% between 2014 and 2018
- Large trade deficit & high ratio of trade deficit with China
- Strong domestic political pressure against RCEP

5. Conclusion

RCEP initiated by ASEAN+3 as largest Mega FTA
RCEP as rising strategy for China in region
Weak Indian position in RCEP & its withdrawal
RCEP without India working out, while CPTPP without USA functioning limited
Open doors for India & USA to RCEP & CPTPP

BRADLOW Daniel, SARCHI Professor of International Development Law and African Economic Relations, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria


• Pandemic has (re)exposed flaws in global economic governance: 

  • Focus on financial governance

  • Formal post WW2 global economic governance arrangements are not capable of meeting the challenges we face

  • de facto global economic governance are fragile and “ungoverned” 

• Political space for meaningful reform does not currently exist and so situation is unlikely to be resolved in near term 

• What is to be done? 

Formal GEG Institutions 

• IMF (to date):

  • $1 trillion for entire membership

  • Total support provided $101 billion to 81 countries (2 Oct 2020)

  • Some relief on LIC debts to IMF

  • No new SDR allocation

• World Bank (and other MDBs):

  • $160 billion over 16 months for all eligible countries (up to June 2021)

  • $74 billion committed by July 2020 to all eligible countries (about 108)

• New institutions

  • AIIB (special COVID facility =$30 million)

  • BRICS: NDB (loans =$1 billion, June $1.5 billion COVID Bond); No CRA 

  • CMIM– not used (3 members: SK, Singapore and Japan– Fed swap lines)

• IFIs and UN: specialized UN agencies 

  • Warnings about impacts of crisis but limited influence

  • IMF- ”good crisis”

De Facto Global Economic Governance

• G20 and G7

  • DSSI

  • Stimulus at home but limited solidarity

  • Rich countries > $10 trillion (and counting) 

• Central Banks: 

  • US Federal Reserve ( March 2020):

  • Swap lines expanded: $90 billion for 9 countries and unlimited for 5 

  • FIMA (Foreign and International Monetary Authorities) Repo facility 

  • Other key central banks also make liquidity available to home markets 

• Private Financial Sector: 

  • Renegotiate key debtors– ARG, Ecuador,

  • Reluctance to participate in DSSI, collective responses 

  • No willingness to share burden of unforeseen event

Global Economic Governance Flawed

• Old order not fit for current reality:

  • Not adequately resourced 

  • States are not the only international actors with power: growing number of global problems require collective solutions but order is based only on sovereign states that can undermine collective actions 

  • Specialization of post WW2 economic governance is not tenable

• De facto international order is based on US Dollar and is fragile:

  • Inadequate and unclear international standards of conduct to guide actors e.g. Federal Reserve

  • Individual actors pick winners/losers

  • Can be weaponized

  • Unaccountable

What is to be done? 

• Need new standards that acknowledge that economic, financial and monetary, political, cultural, environmental factors are inextricably linked and must be dealt with holistically and collectively 

- Applicable to all state and non-state actors with ability to impact society 

- All actors must be accountable for compliance 

• Need new approach to institutional arrangements of global governance:

- Maintain “appropriate” respect for sovereignty –- states not exclusive GEG actors

- Greater role for non-state actors in GEG institutions and forums

- Need IOs with expertise, resources and authority to act 

- More effective coordination between specialized IOs 

- Respect for subsidiarity = more responsibilities and resources for regional bodies 

- Need for stronger and independent accountability mechanisms


• Milton Friedman: “Only a crisis- actual or perceived- produces real change. When that crisis occurs the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.” 

- We need to begin preparing new models, new standards so that when the crisis comes we have the “ideas that are lying around”.

Discussion. Full video of the session on YouTube

Wrap-up and conclusion


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