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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Begins in Argentina meeting of economic leaders of the G20

Por Rory

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina hosts between 19 and 20 March the first meeting of finance ministers and presidents of central banks of the Group of 20 (G20) industrialized and emerging countries in which economic leaders are expected to address the future of work and the global tax system, with the ghosts of protectionism freshly revived.

The meetings are attended by 22 ministers, 17 presidents of central banks and 10 representatives of international organizations. It will cover fundamental issues for the global economy that are part of the usual discussions of the bloc, such as "the international financial architecture", tax systems and financial regulations. The issue of cryptocurrencies will also be placed on the table of the financial authorities, both from the point of view of their potential to promote "financial inclusion" and of their possible relations with tax evasion and the financing of illicit activities.

New technologies are changing the traditional structures of work and the G20 has the opportunity to generate more inclusive growth if it manages to take advantage of these trends so that the benefits multiply. That is why Argentina, as a host country, also proposed addressing the future of work in the face of new technologies that affect job creation, inequality and development. Buenos Aires also expressed interest in discussing the infrastructure that is required to influence development, in which the Government of Mauricio Macri proposes to encourage private investment.

Protectionism will inevitably be one of the central issues of the meeting, after the recent announcement by US President Donald Trump to establish extraordinary tariffs for imports of steel (25%) and aluminum (10%). The President of the World Bank (WB), Jim Yong Kim; the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde; the president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi; and the Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, will be some of the authorities that will sit down at the table.

The meeting is the first of five to be held this year by the main players of the G20, which brings together the richest countries and the major emerging countries, and will be held in Argentina as the country that holds the temporary Presidency of the group.

At the end of the meeting, held behind closed doors, an official communiqué will be presented, which will detail the main points agreed upon and those topics that will be discussed in the next meetings.