Sustainable and inclusive growth came under the spotlight at the G20 Leaders’ Summit which was held from 3 to 5 September under the theme “Towards An Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy.”
Under this theme, the G20 Leaders discussed specific priority areas, namely: i) Breaking a New Path for Growth, ii) More Effective and Efficient Global Economic and Financial Governance, iii) Robust International Trade and Investment, iv) Inclusive and Interconnected Development, and v) Other issues affecting the World such as Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR).
With regard international trade and investment, President Jacob Zuma stated that innovation, fair trade and investment are important ingredients for sustainable and inclusive growth.
“Our trade and investment policies should be designed to enable countries to improve competitiveness and gain access to markets, to successfully participate in the global economy,” said Zuma.
On the issue of inclusive and interconnected development, Zuma stated that industrialisation, infrastructure development, intra-Africa trade and curbing illicit financial flows are crucial goals for the development of the African Continent as stipulated in Agenda 2063.
In this regard, South Africa’s proposal that illicit financial flows from trade mispricing be studied by the World Trade Organisation was accepted. This challenge, if addressed, has the potential to unlock millions of dollars that could be used by African governments to the implementation of the SDGs and their development programmes.
“For Africa not to be left behind, we must ensure the transfer of technology and investment in skills. In this regard, protection of intellectual property rights should not be used to exclude or create barriers to Africa’s industrialisation. We further recognise that without peace and security there can be no sustainable development or meaningful economic growth,” said Zuma, referencing the 4th Industrial Revolution.
SA – a voice for Africa
“As the only African member in the G20, South Africa seeks to advance the African Union’s priorities by coordinating closely with African observers in G20 meetings, such as the AU Chair and the NEPAD chair in an effort to strengthen the voice of Africa know the G20,” said Zuma.
“South Africa further seeks to use its participation in the G20 to promote and strengthen the interests of the South, on the understanding that, if managed carefully, the G20 does present meaningful opportunities for advancing much-needed global governance reforms and orienting the international development agenda.”
Zuma also participated in the BRICS Leaders’ Informal Meeting, which also annually meets on the margins of the G20 Summit. The BRICS Leaders discussed global political and security issues and exchanged views on G20 matters related to global growth, the economy, trade, global governance, development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Preparations for the upcoming 8th Goa BRICS Summit were also discussed.
Zuma held bilateral meetings on the margins of the Summit with H.E President Xi Jingping of the People’s Republic of China, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey where bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual concern were discussed.
Germany is the incoming president of the G20 and will host the next G20 Summit in 2017.