(Photo:G20)

Last week, G20 officials traveled to Washington, DC for the second round of meetings for Financial Ministers and Central Bank Governors. The meetings usually coincide with the spring meetings of both the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund, which both have headquarters in the US capital.

The meetings expanded on the topics from in last month’s kick-off in Buenos Aires, including discussions on the future of work, challenges and opportunities of the global economy, inclusive growth, and gender equality. However the recent threats of a trade war between China and the US and the rise of protectionism in the international economy lingered in the air throughout the meetings.

Finance Minister Luis Caputo, Treasury Minister Nicolás Dujovne, IMF Director Christine Lagarde, and Argentine Ambassador to the US Fernando Oris de Roa (Photo: La Nación)
Finance Minister Luis Caputo, Treasury Minister Nicolás Dujovne, IMF Director Christine Lagarde, and Argentine Ambassador to the US Fernando Oris de Roa at a reception hosted by the Argentine Embassy (Photo: La Nación)

 

While acknowledging the so-called “differences in opinion,” Argentine Treasury Minister Nicolás Dujovne stated in a press conference that there is a “consensus on the benefits of trade.” Dujovne called last week’s meetings “very fruitful” and in regard to the future of work, he stated that there is a “very positive view on the outcome that technological changes can have regarding growth” despite the challenges.

Argentine Central Bank President Federico Sturzenegger underscored the push for normalizing international monetary policy; adding the old adage that “when the sun shines, it’s time to fix the roof.” In reference to the 4 percent global economic growth forecast for 2018 and similar consistent rate for 2019, Sturzenegger affirmed a favorable outlook, stating that the “scenario has been strengthened and is very positive.”

Finance Minister Caputo and Treasury Minister Dujovne took advantage of their opportunity in Washington to further discuss items outside of the G20, including the Mercosur-EU trade negotiations as well as Argentina bid to enter the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). OECD Secretary-General José Ángel Gurría told La Nación that the Argentina’s bid “continues to advance” although he did note that decisions between 35 member countries do not always resolve themselves quickly.

Despite the pomp and circumstance, Argentine leaders were able to moderate a constructive conversation on global finance to set the groundwork for the upcoming summit later this year. Unlike the first meeting, there is no final communique, as to encourage a broader dialogue among G20 officials.  But yes, if you were wondering, there was tango.