Is the G7 relevant for global governance in the future?
Matthew Oxenford, a research associate in global economy and finance at Chatham House, says YES.
Unlike international institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank or the WTO, the G7 has no permanent bureaucracy, nor is it enshrined in international treaties. And unlike the G20, it makes no claims to be representative of a broad cross-section of economies.
Rather, the G7’s importance is in providing a forum for the leaders of the world’s largest industrialised nations to discuss the many common interests and responsibilities unique to their status as large advanced economies, and to better coordinate their actions.
As the size of key emerging markets, particularly the BRIC economies, begins to eclipse those of the G7 countries, this role will become even more important – although the grouping will evolve from being “the only game in town” economically to one important “club” among several in a global debate.
While the G7 has been derided as a “talking shop”, its members legitimately have a lot they need to talk about. If this forum didn’t exist, it would need to be invented.
Alex Deane, a Conservative commentator, says NO.
The world is fast moving away from an economic model in which a cosy cabal of countries can control capital.
From President Trump’s preference for bilateral deals, to the UK’s welcome confidence in ourselves to forge our national future outside the shackles of the ultra-low growth EU, major economies are doing it for themselves, rather than providing the budgets for pampered internationalist quangocrats to flit from summit to summit at our expense while claiming credit for what businesses and technologies are making happen.
And even if all that’s wrong, when it comes to the G7, we don’t have the right members in the club. On those who are in, Italy is one good pasta dish away from bankruptcy. On the other hand, there’s a certain logic to Trump’s counterintuitive call for Russia to be at the table, but India, China, Brazil and Indonesia have claims to rival or better the bear’s.
Either way, we don’t need another layer of backslapping to get global trade to the next level.