American expert on coordinating efforts to fight corruption
Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington Anders Aslund commented on the issues of multilateral coordination, which is needed to fight corruption.
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Question: What are the priorities for the G20 on the issue of fostering sustainable development?
Anders Aslund: I think that if the G20 is to be really effective, it needs to focus on a few big issues that are not currently handled by the international organizations. One obvious such big issue today it is to foster international foreign investment, which is on the Russian agenda. I think that a multilateral investment agreement would be a good thing for Russia to promote.
Question: What kind of multilateral coordination is needed to increase transparency and fight corruption?
Anders Aslund: Well, the basic agreements are within the OECD. It is a good that Russia has ratified the OECD Anticorruption Convention. But, of course, something broader is needed as well. Basically we need an international convention on transparency, because transparency is the key to fight corruption.
Question: What is your personal view on Russia's presidency priorities? What could be Russia's input or contribution to G20 Agenda?
Anders Aslund: I think it's very good that foreign investment activity and completion of IMF reform are high on the Russian agenda. The IMF reform implies an increase of IMF financial resources and a redistribution of board seats and quotas within the IMF. Something should also be done to handle global imbalances, which is partly on Russia's agenda. For example, guidelines for international reserve accumulation would be a good thing. And the big financial problems need to be dealt with. There is much discussion about control of budget deficits and public debt, but it's unclear what Russia and the G20 can really do in this regard. One could try to introduce the European Maastricht criteria globally, but they haven't worked in Europe very well and they are not likely to be accepted internationally.