Mirtchev, A., (2013, June 13). The pre-G8 Summit Agenda: The Transforming Geo-economic and Security Paradigm under Pressure to Address Issues of Trade, Tax and Transparency, CNBC
In an interview on CNBC prior to the G8 summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, Dr. Alexander Mirtchev, Board Director of the Atlantic Council of the United States discussed the shaping of the summit’s agenda by the divergent pressures of political urgency and the need to meet long-term geopolitical and geo-economic necessities. Beyond the immediate foreign policy challenges and conflicts, this agenda focused on the “hot” issues of the day – global growth, stability and governance. Paradoxically, the dominance of these issues coincided, rather than conflicted, with the societal concerns that usually confront summits of this type – the conduct of multinationals, global trade transparency and tax avoidance. This confluence underlined the consistent pressure on leading economies to find new ways to replenish their treasuries, while at the same time revitalize a persistently moribund global economy. However, this common sense of urgency is yet to be reconciled with the geo-economic realities of new and emerging power players – in particular the BRIC economies – that seek to capitalize on their competitive advantages, and achieve a new positioning in the global political economy. As these powers increasingly eschew the global economic paradigm defined by the West, the likely response toward rebalancing is going to correspond to societal pressure to address issues of transparency and accountability, in particular in extractive industries. Such transparency initiatives run the risk of being taken by actors such as China and Russia as an attempt by the West to impose a “Do as I say, and not as I do” framework to curtail their expanding geo-economic power. It is relatively easy to imagine how imposition of such initiatives by certain actors could lead to new geo-economic rivalries, protectionist approaches, and even trade disputes, resulting in more losers than winners and negatively impacting the still shaky global economy. Actors are likely to undertake actions in response that could exacerbate existing contentious issues, exacerbating existing and creating new economic security risks. The G8 would need to give due consideration to the impact that the increasing attractiveness of geo-economic statecraft actions can lead to new threats to global economic security.