G20 leaders vow to realize free, fair trade, investment environment
The 14th Group of 20 (G20) summit concluded on Saturday with a pledge to realize a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep markets open.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) speaks during session 3 on women's workforce participation, future of work, and ageing societies during the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 29, 2019. [Photo: AFP]
The G20 Osaka Leaders' Declaration adopted at the summit said international trade and investment are important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development.
Reaffirming their support for the necessary reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to improve its functions, the G20 leaders said they would work constructively with other WTO members, including in the lead up to the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference.
They agreed that action is necessary regarding the functioning of the dispute settlement system consistent with the rules as negotiated by WTO members.
Recognizing the complementary roles of bilateral and regional free trade agreements that are WTO-consistent, the G20 leaders said they would work to ensure a level playing field to foster an enabling business environment.
Noting that global economic growth remains low and risks are tilted to the downside, and most importantly, trade and geopolitical tensions have intensified, the G20 leaders said they will continue to address these risks and stand ready to take further action.
They reaffirmed their commitment to using all policy tools to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, and safeguard against downside risks by stepping up their dialogue and actions to enhance confidence.
On development, the G20 leaders said they are resolved to play a leading role in contributing to the timely implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
They recognized that international public and private finance for development as well as other innovative financing mechanisms, including blended finance, can play an important role in upscaling their collective efforts.
The two-day summit also traversed issues pertaining to the global economy, multilateral trade, development and climate change, among others.
Created in 1999, the G20 is a central forum for international cooperation on financial and economic issues. It comprises 19 countries plus the European Union (EU). The countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Britain and the United States.
The group, home to almost two thirds of the world's population, accounts for more than 80 percent of gross world product and 75 percent of global trade.
As an informal forum, the G20 does not have an administrative council or permanent body. Instead, G20 countries take turns to assume presidency and host the summit.
Saudi Arabia will host the G20 summit in 2020.