Argentina's presidency of the G20: panel discussion

Argentina's presidency of the G20: panel discussion

Outcomes and lessons learned from Argentina’s presidency of the G20 in 2018

The Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies (ANCLAS) is hosting a panel discussion on the outcomes and lessons learned from Argentina’s presidency of the G20 in 2018. The event will be followed by light refreshments.

When President Mauricio Macri announced in 2016 that Argentina would host the first meetings of the G20 in South America it seemed to be an astute decision. Argentina had just had a change of government which was committed to reform: a more open economy; greater transparency; less protectionism; a crackdown on corruption; and re-insertion into the international community. 

The role and reputation of the G20 was also positive. It had notched up a credible record in the ten years since the Global Financial Crisis. G20 Leaders pledged in Brisbane in 2014 to lift the GDP of its members by 2 percent above forecast levels. In St Petersburg they committed to action on infrastructure, investment, corruption and tax evasion. And in Hangzhou they pledged support for open markets, globalization and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Two years later the panorama had changed significantly. Despite its return to political and economic orthodoxy Argentina was itself facing profound macroeconomic difficulties. Trade and climate became the two most contentious issues on the G20’s agenda. And the 2018 G20 Summit came in the wake of the failure by leaders at the G7 and APEC summits to arrive at consensus. 

Yet in Buenos Aires they were able to agree on a G20 Leaders Declaration. A declaration which not only addressed the three main priorities of the Argentine Presidency – future of work, infrastructure for development and sustainable food future. It also committed leaders to reform the WTO, to address climate change and (with the exception of USA) to support the Paris Agreement.

The panel will discuss the record of the G20 in the lead up to the Buenos Aires Summit, how the Argentine Presidency was able to achieve a consensus, and the challenges and prospects for the G20 post Buenos Aires.

About the panellists:

Hugo Gobbi: has been Argentine Ambassador to Australia since 2016. From 2010 to 2016 he was Director of Multilateral Affairs and G20 and Argentina’s Sous Sherpa in the Argentine Foreign Ministry. Ambassador Gobbi has also served on diplomatic postings to Brussels, Brasilia and the Holy See.

David Gruen: is the Deputy Secretary (Economic) at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Australia’s G20 Sherpa. Before joining the Department in September 2014, he was Executive Director of the Macroeconomic Group at the Australian Treasury.

dam Triggs: is and economist, the Director of Research at the Asian Bureau of Economic Research at the Crawford School of Public Policy and non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is a former adviser on the global economy and the G20 in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Register online

Date & time

Wed 05 Jun 2019, 6–7.30pm


The Fred Gruen Seminar Room, HW Arndt Building, 25A Kingsley Place Acton (Australian National University)


Hugo Gobbi
David Gruen
Adam Triggs


Liliana Oyarzun
02 6125 4697


Updated:  17 May 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications