WASHINGTON – The Group of 20 developed and emerging economies will compile a guideline in 2016 to encourage members to carry out structural reforms to raise the potential for global growth, G-20 sources said Tuesday.
To mitigate labor shortages in graying societies, the guideline is expected to include bringing in a greater percentage of female and elderly people into the workforce and train more people in high-level skills and expertise, they said.
China, as the rotating G-20 chair, hopes such a guideline will be ready to be adopted at the G-20 summit slated for Sept. 4 and 5.
The G-20 plans to begin discussing the envisioned guideline at a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in February, the sources said.
The move shows a shift in the grouping’s focus to longer-term tasks to prop up the global economy, and from getting out of the slump triggered by the 2008 collapse of the U.S. housing market and ensuing financial crisis.
The Chinese initiative can also be taken to show Beijing’s belief that structural reforms are important to attain global growth, the sources said.
The G-20 in 2014 set the goal of increasing the growth rate of the entire G-20 economy by at least 2 percentage points by 2018.
But whether that goal can be attained is becoming uncertain due to the slowdown of China and other emerging economies, the plunge in crude oil prices and the recent hike of U.S. interest rates, among other factors.
During a Dec. 14 and 15 meeting of senior officials, Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei proposed that the G-20 adopt a guideline on structural reforms, the sources said.
The guideline could also include measures that encourage fair competition among corporations, taxation system reforms and deregulation to raise productivity, they added.
The International Monetary Fund in April called for structural reforms to increase elderly and female workers both in developed and emerging countries to deal with the aging of societies, a drag on potential growth of the global economy.
The other G-20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United States and the European Union.