A consensus has been reached, and it's time to translate it into concrete action. That is what the G20 leaders are expected to do after their London meeting earlier this month.
The G20 London summit's generous rescue plan is good news for the world economy, finally dismissing earlier doubts about whether the one-day meeting could make any real achievements. However, the plan has raised new concerns, the most urgent of which is how it will be implemented?
Standing at the precipice of a global economic recession, the G20 leaders are clear that they should seek a common solution to save the world and not focus purely on their own country's interests. Thus the leaders of both Western powers and emerging economies put aside their own agendas during the London meeting. That's real progress.
However, making concerted efforts means a lot more than reaching a consensus at the meeting. They say the devil is in the details, and when it comes to taking detailed specific measures, the road ahead is anything but smooth.
In the area of trade, a concerted effort must be made to implement anti-protectionism, and that's easier said than done. That's why the London meeting reiterated the issue. To breathe new life into an ailing world economy, each country will no doubt prioritize its own domestic recovery. But when shaping domestic policies, individual consideration must be taken as to how one affects the whole. Trade protectionism might be a band-aid for one country, but it will only make global economic rejuvenation that much more difficult.
To fulfill other commitments such as establishing a new Financial Stability Board and granting a greater quota and voice to developing countries at the IMF, the discrepancies among the G20 countries, and the urge to focus on their own interests, can be a debilitating factor for the global good.
Despite all these difficulties and uncertainties ahead, the outcome of the G20 London summit has given people more confidence in tiding over the current meltdown and provided a good foundation to build on in tackling the global financial crisis.
As a Chinese saying goes, well begun is half done. The world is now waiting to see if the other half of the equation can end as successfully as it began.