Five developing nations a presence at the G8 summit
Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa — some of the world’s most dynamically growing developing nations and up-and-coming greenhouse gas emitters — have been invited to attend this week’s G8 summit as informal participants. I’ve been digging through the international press this morning, looking for perspectives on Gleneagles absent in much of the Western news media.
India’s New Kerala reports (via the Indo-Asian News Service) that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in London today. Singh will ask the G8 nations to transfer green energy technologies to the developing nations, removing “non-tariff barriers,” i.e. international protections for intellectual property rights to these technologies, as The Indian Express explains with a tad more clarity. Singh wants relaxed international IPR protections on clean energy technologies, to make them more affordable for the developing nations to use in place of dirty energy.
Below the fold, more G8 perspectives from the presses of China, Mexico, and South Africa.
According to Xinhua/China View, Chinese President Hu Jintao is en route from Kazakhstan — an equally fascinating geopolitical story, if you ask me. Hu was in Astana, Kazakh capital city, for a meeting of the regional Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, to talk energy, antiterrorism, trade and other shared interests. Russia’s RIA Novosti news service reports that Pakistan, Iran, and India gained observer status in SCO on Tuesday, and that Afghanistan may soon follow. China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, India, and several ‘stans at the same table — pretty heady stuff.
It’s not hard to intuit why China’s invited to the G8. A Reuters commentary picked up by India’s Financial Express notes that China’s energy demands are helping push world oil prices into the stratosphere, while its currency controls allow it to produce export goods cheaper than cheap. China’s economy is expected to be the world’s second largest by 2050, followed by India in third. Says British economics professor Andrew Oswald, “Hu will say that there is no reason why the Chinese should stay on their bicycles so that Americans and Britons can drive larger SUVs.”
South African President Thabo Mbeki gets to Gleneagles on Thursday, reports the South African Broadcasting Corporation. He’ll be coming from Libya, where he attended the African Union Summit, with an agenda including debt relief for all African nations (beyond the 16 African countries already released from debt repayment obligations by the G8 — click here for a good Q&A on debt relief from the BBC), as well as the well-reported-in-the-West issues of aid to reduce poverty, increased economic development assistance, and help resolving violent conflicts on the continent.
Debt is also on the mind of Mexican President Vincente Fox, El Universal reports. At Gleneagles, Fox will push for extending debt relief across Central America; Nicaragua and Honduras are the only Central American countries so far to have their debts forgiven.