G20 leaders vow to sustain balanced global economic growth, shun protectionism

07 Sep 2013


Leaders of the G20, ended their summit at St Petersburg with a declaration to continue to coordinate actions critical to engineering a durable exit from the longest and most protracted financial market crisis in modern history and bring the global economy back to a job-rich, strong, sustainable and balanced growth path.

They stressed the crucial importance of strong multilateral trading system and called on all WTO members to show the necessary flexibility and reach a successful outcome in this year's multilateral trade negotiations.

''We extend our commitment to refrain from protectionist measures and aim at enhancing transparency in trade, including in regional trade agreements,'' the leaders said in a joint declaration issued at the close of the summit.

'' Cross-border tax evasion and avoidance undermine our public finances and our people's trust in the fairness of the tax system. Today, we endorsed plans to address these problems and committed to take steps to change our rules to tackle tax avoidance, harmful practices, and aggressive tax planning,'' they said in the joint declaration .

'' Our most urgent need is to increase the momentum of the global recovery, generate higher growth and better jobs, while strengthening the foundations for long term growth and avoiding policies that could cause the recovery to falter or promote growth at other countries' expense,'' they said.

The leaders agreed to address the issues of cross-border tax evasion and avoidance and take steps to change rules to tackle tax avoidance, harmful practices, and aggressive tax planning ; implement a broad range of financial reforms to address the major fault lines that caused the crisis.

'' We are building more resilient financial institutions, making substantial progress towards ending too-big-to-fail, increasing transparency and market integrity, filling regulatory gaps and addressing the risks from shadow banking. We will pursue our work to build a safe, reliable financial system responsive to the needs of our citizens,'' they stated in the declaration.

Leaders of the world's largest economies agreed to reinforce the open and rules-based global economic system  and committed themselves to work cooperatively to address key global economic challenges that include:

  • Achieving a stronger recovery while ensuring fiscal sustainability and balanced growth;
  • Create better quality and more productive jobs.
  • Coordinate and integrate public policies with focus on macroeconomic , financial, fiscal, education, skills development, innovation, employment and social protection goals;
  • Support inclusive labour markets, with the exchange of country-specific plans or sets of actions, developed as appropriate according to different constitutional circumstances;
  • Boosting fund flows for long-term investments in infrastructure, SMEs etc so as to boost economic growth, job creation and development.
  • To make available long-term finance for investment;
  • Identify and implement collective and country-specific measures to improve domestic investment environments;
  • Foster free and rules-based multilateral trading system to improve economic opportunities;
  • Eschew protectionism and enhance transparency in trade and trade agreements;
  • Address the issues of cross-border tax evasion and avoidance and take steps to change rules to tackle tax avoidance, harmful practices, and aggressive tax planning;
  • Implement a broad range of financial reforms to address the major fault lines that caused the crisis. We are building more resilient

They endorsed the `St Petersburg Development Outlook' to focus efforts on concrete steps to improve food security, financial inclusion, infrastructure, human resource development and domestic resource mobilisation.

The leaders committed themselves to implement the G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan, combating domestic and foreign bribery, tackling corruption in high-risk sectors, strengthening international cooperation and promoting public integrity and transparency in the fight against corruption. They also announced `St Petersburg Strategic Framework' for sustained action.

The summit leaders committed themselves to enhance energy cooperation, to make energy market data more accurate and available and to take steps to support the development of cleaner and more efficient energy technologies to enhance the efficiency of markets and shift towards a more sustainable energy future.

The joint declaration underscored the need to work together to address climate change and environment protection, which is a global problem that requires a global solution.

The leaders of the G20 agreed to strive not only for strong, sustainable and balanced growth but also for a more inclusive pattern of growth that will better mobilize the talents of entire populations and continue to strive for cooperation, coordination and confidence building.

The joint declaration said the G20 nations have taken a number of important policy actions over the past few years that have helped to contain key tail risks, improve financial market conditions and sustain the recovery.

These measures have helped strengthen private demand in countries like the US while growth has picked up in Japan and the UK. There are signs of recovery in the euro area. While growth has continued in emerging market economies, it has slowed down in some of them.

Global growth prospects for 2013 have been marked down repeatedly over the last year, global rebalancing is incomplete, regional growth disparities remain wide, and unemployment, particularly among youth, remains unacceptably high, the leaders pointed out.

Recovery, however, is too weak, and risks remain tilted to the downside. In the last months financial market volatility has increased. G20 considers the main challenges to the global economy to be:

  • Weak growth and persistently high unemployment, particularly among youth, and the need for more inclusive growth in many economies;
  • Financial market fragmentation in Europe and the decisive implementation of  banking union;
  • Slower growth in some emerging market economies, reflecting in some cases the effect of volatile capital flows, tighter financial conditions and commodity price volatility, as well as domestic structural challenges;
  • Insufficient levels of private investment in many countries, in part due to continuing market uncertainties, as well as internal rigidities;
  • High public debt and its sustainability in some countries that need to be addressed while properly supporting the recovery in the near-term, especially in countries with the highest actual and projected debt to GDP levels;
  • Volatility of capital flows as growth strengthens and there are expectations of eventual monetary policy recalibration in advanced economies;
  • An incomplete rebalancing of global demand; and
  • Continued uncertainties about fiscal policy deliberations.

The G20 leaders will meet next at their summit meeting in Brisbane in November 2 014 under the Australian Presidency.


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