14:20 GMT +311 December 2018
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    A motorcycle of the Argentine Federal Police with the G20 logo.

    G20 in Argentina: Buenos Aires Promises to Hold Safe and Productive G20 Summit

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    Denis Bolotsky
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    For the first time in history, Argentina is hosting the G20 summit, which, besides political gains, gives the country a chance to showcase its culture, traditions and hospitality. Meanwhile, the leaders of the 20 major advanced and emerging economies gather in the capital Buenos Aires for the two-day event.

    When you travel from Buenos Aires' airport to the central part of the city, you'll see hundreds of armed police agents along the highway. The security is tight, with some major downtown streets blocked and surrounded by checkpoints. With all the VIP delegations in attendance, this is usual for the annual G20 meetings — just as usual, as the attempts of antiglobalists to disrupt these events.

    In Buenos Aires, the protests, though present, don't look as violent and "out-of-control", as during the last year's G20 in Hamburg, when black-clad gangs terrorized the city, burning cars and attacking police. The only reminder of these events in Argentina so far is the message of support from Hamburg "Block G20" activists on a banner next to the parliament building in Buenos Aires.

    The government promised a tough response to any attempts to disrupt the summit, deploying 22000 police officers and 700 security agents to guard the events and cordon-off a large area around the main venue.

    Argentina has put a lot of time, effort and money (around $112 million) into its first G20 presidency. Being also the first South American country to host the summit, it organized press tours for journalists who wanted to see the nation's resorts, to acquaint themselves with its traditions and culture. The 30000-square-meter summit venue in Costa Salguero has plenty of space for bilateral meetings and plenary session, which will include closed-door discussions.B

    Apart from the main agenda, which focuses on sustainable food culture, the future of work and infrastructure for development, there are several other trends and events to watch out for.

    Donald Trump made a series of contradicting statements ahead of the event, about meeting Russia's Vladimir Putin in Buenos Aires, with his sudden change of heart causing a lot of confusion.

    Trump is known for his habit of making harsh statements followed by the business-like approach, so it's still unclear whether there will be some kind of interaction between Russian and American leaders on the margins of G20.

    Besides Russia-US relations, another major "undercurrent" is the looming trade war between Washington and Beijing, with a possible exchange of opinions between the leaders on tariffs and protectionism. Even though in Hamburg the leaders of the G20 agreed to end tariff wars, it looks like protectionism is still on the rise.

    The group of 20 industrialized nations was founded in 1999 with a focus on financial stability. Its current members are 19 individual countries and the EU. The global impact of G20 is quite significant, with its members accounting collectively for 80% of world trade. 

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    summit, security, G20, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Argentina, Buenos Aires
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