Reform of the International Financial System

SC Statement to G-24, 10 October 2023

STATEMENT BY DR. CARLOS CORREA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SOUTH CENTRE, TO THE MINISTERS AND GOVERNORS MEETING OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL GROUP OF TWENTY-FOUR (G-24)

10 October 2023, Marrakesh, Morocco

To address the global polycrisis, developing countries need to come together to demand reforms in the international rules & architecture for debt, development finance, trade & tax to achieve equitable outcomes, fight climate change and meet SDGs.

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Research Paper 181, 14 August 2023

Trends, Reasons and Prospects of De-dollarization

By Yuefen Li

The 1944 “Bretton Woods Agreement” gave birth to the new international financial system marked by the centrality of the US dollar which is a crucial pillar of the global power of the United States. Over the past eight decades, the asymmetry of the shrinking US economic weight in the world economy and growing dominant role of the dollar has become more and more glaring. The disadvantages of overreliance on the dollar have been keenly felt, especially by developing countries. The recent moves to weaponize the dollar and the payment clearance system have triggered another wave of reassessment by national states and enterprises of the role of the dollar and led to the hitherto most broad-based de-dollarization process covering from Southeast Asia to Latin America and the Middle East. De-dollarization has been incrementally taking place in different forms and led by BRICS and some commodity exporting countries. However, there are many challenges to meaningful de-dollarization. Overall, de-dollarization efforts, despite important progress, have been limited and partial. There has been progress in reducing overreliance on the dollar through foreign exchange reserve diversification and trade invoicing as evidenced by the decline in the dollar’s share of allocated foreign exchange reserves and the increase of trade invoiced and transacted in currencies other than the dollar. However, on aspects requiring the deep financial market and wide network such as foreign exchange transactions, issuance of debt and payment clearance, the dollar’s share has not suffered a decline. To reform the international financial system, the BRICS in particular should continue to take the lead in furthering the de-dollarization efforts.

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Trends, reasons and prospects of de-dollarization, August 2023

Trends, reasons and prospects of de-dollarization

By Yuefen Li

The 1944 “Bretton Woods Agreement” gave birth to the new international financial system marked by the centrality of the US dollar which is a crucial pillar of the global power of the United States. Over the past eight decades, the asymmetry of the shrinking US economic weight in the world economy and growing dominant role of the dollar has become more and more glaring. The disadvantages of overreliance on the dollar have been keenly felt, especially by developing countries. The recent moves to weaponize the dollar and the payment clearance system have triggered another wave of reassessment by national states and enterprises of the role of the dollar and led to the hitherto most broad-based de-dollarization process covering from Southeast Asia to Latin America and the Middle East. De-dollarization has been incrementally taking place in different forms and led by BRICS and some commodity exporting countries. However, there are many challenges to meaningful de-dollarization. Overall, de-dollarization efforts, despite important progress, have been limited and partial. There has been progress in reducing overreliance on the dollar through foreign exchange reserve diversification and trade invoicing as evidenced by the decline in the dollar’s share of allocated foreign exchange reserves and the increase of trade invoiced and transacted in currencies other than the dollar. However, on aspects requiring the deep financial market and wide network such as foreign exchange transactions, issuance of debt and payment clearance, the dollar’s share has not suffered a decline. To reform the international financial system, the BRICS in particular should continue to take the lead in furthering the de-dollarization efforts.

This is an advanced draft of the Research Paper.

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SC Statement to NAM Ministerial Meeting, 5-6 July 2023

South Centre Statement to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Meeting

July 5-6, 2023

Baku, Azerbaijan

The South Centre supports developing countries with policy-oriented research, advice on international negotiations and capacity building. Since its inception, the South Centre has maintained a close relationship with NAM. We are strong supporters of its principles, appreciate its achievements, and believe in the central role that NAM can play in reforming the multilateral system.  

The South Centre will continue to work with NAM and its member countries to support them in their efforts to shape a fairer multilateral system that is responsive to the needs of the Global South. 

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South Centre Statement to the G-24, 11 April 2023

STATEMENT BY DR. CARLOS CORREA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SOUTH CENTRE, TO THE MINISTERS AND GOVERNORS MEETING OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL GROUP OF TWENTY-FOUR (G-24)

11 April 2023, Washington, D.C.

Solidarity and international cooperation is needed now more than ever to address the multiple challenges that disproportionately affect developing countries. See the South Centre’s statement to the G-24.

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Tax Cooperation Policy Brief 24, 29 July 2022

A Global Asset Registry to track hidden fortunes and for asset recovery

By Ricardo Martner

Financial opacity and offshore hidden wealth have become a major economic and political problem. Tax havens continue to exist and provide financial secrecy services that allow the richest individuals in the world to hide their wealth from national tax authorities. Implementing a Global Asset Registry could help tax authorities to identify, record and tax all wealth, regardless of where it is held. It would also be a critical tool in efforts to recover stolen assets of countries suffering from widespread corruption.

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Statement to G24, 19 April 2022

STATEMENT BY DR. CARLOS CORREA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SOUTH CENTRE, TO THE MINISTERS AND GOVERNORS MEETING OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL GROUP OF TWENTY-FOUR (G24)

April 2022, Virtual Meeting

The lingering COVID-19 pandemic, monetary tightening and increasing geopolitical tension have slowed down the global economic recovery. Projections for the 2022 global GDP growth have been slashed by about one percentage point by major international institutions. Together with inflation, especially spikes in food and fuel prices, and ongoing supply chain disruptions, uncertainty and fragility are looming over the two-speed world economic recovery. This has dimmed the hope to halt or reverse the trend of the rapidly increasing number of people falling into extreme poverty and suffering from hunger. While the COVID-19 virus continues to mutate, the access to vaccination continues to be a major world concern. Developing countries’ supply and financing constraints for vaccines and critical medical products must be addressed.

In view of the multiple challenges faced by developing countries, the efforts of G24 in helping to coordinate the positions of developing countries on international monetary and development finance issues remain critical. The South Centre will continue to support those efforts.

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Statement, October 2021

STATEMENT BY DR. CARLOS CORREA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SOUTH CENTRE, TO THE MINISTERS AND GOVERNORS MEETING OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL GROUP OF TWENTY-FOUR (G24)

The world economy is showing signs of recovery, yet very uneven, and is facing a multitude of challenges including rising inequality within and among countries, vaccine nationalism in the face of raging COVID-19 variants, escalated debt burden for many developing countries, ravages of climate change and weakening multilateralism.

Now, we are at a pivotal moment to mend and fix the global systemic problems so that we can recover better, greener, more inclusively, and more resiliently. It is time to address root causes of the fragility, instability, divergence and asymmetries of the global economy.

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Policy Brief 95, June 2021

Systemic reform of the international debt architecture is yet to start

By Yuefen Li

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the reform of the international debt architecture to the policy agenda. Up to now policy measures to address the crushing debt burden of developing countries have focused on boosting time bound liquidity provision, which is insufficient in amount and restrictive in scope as debt-ridden and pandemic struck middle-income countries have not been covered.  Even the implementation of these policy measures has been hindered by existing systemic problems. The reform of the debt architecture is yet to start. However, complacency seems to emerge. The risk of “wasting” the crisis should be avoided.

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SouthViews No. 204, 11 August 2020

The Covid-19 Pandemic and Liability under Investment Treaties

By Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah

COVID-19 can increase liability for countries under international investment treaties. Professor M. Sornarajah, Emeritus Professor at the National University of Singapore, discusses in this SouthViews the imminent challenges faced under such treaties by developing countries. The text is based on his presentation at the South Centre webinar on “Responsible Investment for Development and Human Rights: Assessing Different Mechanisms to Face Possible Investor-State Disputes from COVID-19 Related Measures” held on 30th July 2020. The recording of the webinar is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXPswKuywvA

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SouthViews No. 201, 23 June 2020

The Weakness of Economic Multilateralism

By José Antonio Ocampo

The weakness of multilateral cooperation was evident at the meetings of the Group of 20 and the Bretton Woods institutions in Washington. The limited international cooperation contrasts with the ambitious domestic policies adopted by some developed countries, and in particular the United States, to manage their crisis. The big losers will be the emerging countries, for whom cooperation has so far been minimal.

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