8th G20 Meeting 2013

The 8th G20 Summit was held at Saint Petersburg, Russia on 5 − 6 September, 2013. It was attended by 18 member countries except Foreign Minister of Australia (nor PM). PM of Australia could not attend it as the Elections were to be held in Australia on the 7th September, 2013. At this year's Summit, along with the member countries, 6 invitees-Spain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Senegal and Singapore and head of 7 International Organizations-UN, World Bank, IMF, FSB, OECD, WTO and ILO were invited to participate in the premier forum.

Main Agenda

  1. Macroeconomic Policy Co-operation
  2. Qualitative Job Creation-Fighting Unemployment
  3. Long-term Financing for Investment
  4. Enhancing Multilateral Trade
  5. Fiscal Consolidation and Taxation Justice
  6. International Financial Architecture Reform
  7. Financial Regulatory Reform

Highlights

French President Francois Hollande told business leaders, “Agreements reached between G20 governments have the objective of creating economic growth and jobs, particularly for the young. A strong signal has been given on trade, that there is a convergence of interests to agree”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “we have agreed strong measures to fight protectionism, which is the worst enemy of jobs and of growth” She said specific measures have been agreed to provide trade finance assistance to enable SMEs to join the global market.

Even Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty aired the same views that protectionist actions like competitive devaluations must be addressed.

The President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said “the priorities of our agreements have been jobs and growth--decent jobs and sustainable growth” He emphasized the importance of the agreement by the G20 to extend the stand-still on protectionist measures to 2016. It had been meant to expire at the end of 2013. Mr. Barroso said the G20 leaders were determined to achieve agreement during the WTO Ministerial in Bali (December, 2013). He said there is agreement to “get a deal done” as" the least expensive way to stimulate growth.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the G20 takes business issues seriously. The measures on tax and transparency agreed by the G20 will level the playing field. “It is pro-business to be transparent on the ownership of companies” he said. The G20 governments have agreed to improve in the short term the sharing of tax information as part of a series of measures to fight tax evasion.

Japan's finance minister Taro Aso said, “Escaped criticism” for the 20% drop in the yen that had stemmed from its recent reflationary policies. The “nations declared there would be no currency war and deferred plans to set new debt-cutting targets, underlining broad concern about the fragile state of the world economy”

Indian PM Manmohan Singh raised the issue of ongoing economic crisis urging member nations to pay more attention to their monetary policies. He emphasized the urgency of IMF quota reforms-increasing voting share and better representation on the IMF Board for developing countries.

For the first time, the G20 created a special session for “social partners” within the framework of the G20 Leaders Summit. While the meeting was voluntary to the heads of government, the “semi-official” meeting represented a significant step forward in the G20's recognition of the role of international business.

G20 heads of state met with CEOs representing the Business-20 (B20) during a special session of the G20 Leaders'Summit at Strelna Palace, near Saint Petersburg in Russia. CEOs, members of the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) G20 CEO Advisory Group, presented policy recommendations to the heads of state, urging world leaders to drive economic growth and job creation by liberalizing trade and improving conditions for global investment, particularly in infrastructure.

Syria Issues Dominance

The questions regarding Syrian Civil War and Ghouta Chemical Attacks (allegation of use of Chemical agent Sarin by Syria) were raised from all sides in this summit. US, UK, France, Turkey and some other EU Countries were considering the use of military force to bring down Assad Government (Bashar al-Assad-President of Syria) but on other hand Russia and China were opposing such use of force to enter Syria. Ultimately, US-led efforts to obtain a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution authorizing against Syria failed while 11 countries signed a US-authored statement blaming and condemning the Assad government for the attacks and calling for a “strong international response”

It is obvious to assume that this summit-wholly and solely for economic issues was dominated by the political issues and drama.

Outcomes

The work carried out by G20 officials over the last year has produced agreements on trade, protectionism, taxation, anti-corruption and other measures-central to ICC's policy which will generate millions of jobs and stimulate growth in the world economy.