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Interview: G20 summit needs to coordinate national efforts to promote innovation, growth, says expert

To promote innovation-driven growth for the global economy, the upcoming G20 summit needs to coordinate national efforts and share best practices, a foreign policy expert told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Balazs Ujvari, research fellow at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations, said alongside the G20 summit themes of finance and trade, there is a special focus on innovation as a driving force of growth.

"By putting innovation as the foremost priority on the G20's agenda, China seeks to ensure that growth across G20 countries (economies) is increasingly led by innovation," he said.

Ujvari said it is important to encourage the members to improve their domestic environment to support innovation first.

On Sept. 4-5, leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) will be gathering in Hangzhou, capital city of China's Zhejiang province, seeking solutions for the sluggish global economy.

China has set out the main theme of the G20 as "Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy."

China has already acted domestically on this, the expert said. The G20 host province of Zhejiang, for instance, is home to some of China's most innovative companies such as Alibaba and Geely, Ujvari pointed out.

However, any action that aims to render domestic environments more conducive to innovation has to be done at the national level, he stressed, adding that opinions may differ on modus operandi.

"The G20 in Hangzhou may serve to co-ordinate national efforts and share best practices," he said, "it is an opportunity for China to push participants to come to joint approaches."

Meanwhile, Ujvari, whose research area concentrates on global governance and the approaches of key international actors to multilateral issues, suggested China align innovations with former commitment make by G20 members.

In the G20 meeting in 2014 in Brisbane, Australia, members aimed to lift the G20's GDP by an additional 2 percent by 2018.

"China may initiate an inquiry into whether the 20 members are complying with the objective, so as to ensure that growth strategies are innovation-centered," he said.

However, given that innovation policies tend to yield results in the long term, contrasting with the G20's focus hitherto on immediate crisis management, a key challenge for the major economies will reside in striking a balance with expedient policy options, Ujvari said.


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