Press Release

21 July 2014

Australian G20 Sherpa to visit South Africa

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) will be hosting Australia’s G20 Sherpa, Dr Heather Smith, in Pretoria from 23-24 July 2014, where she will meet with her counterpart, South Africa’s G20 Sherpa, Ambassador Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko.

Dr Smith will also deliver a keynote address on “The G20 and the future of global economic growth” on Thursday, 24 July 2014, organised by the University of South Africa (UNISA), DIRCO, the Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD) and the Australian High Commission. (

Australia holds the rotating G20 Presidency for 2014. Australia has structured the G20 discussions during its Presidency around the themes of promoting stronger economic growth and employment, as well as making the global economy more resilient to deal with future shocks. Australia has also indicated that it intends to increase its outreach activities and engage with non-G20 members, particularly countries in Africa.

One of the reasons for Dr Smith’s visit is to consult with South Africa as a G20 member, on the proposed outcomes for the upcoming G20 Leaders’ Summit to be held in Brisbane, Australia on 15-16 November 2014.

The G20 was formally established in September 1999 in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 1997-98. It comprises 19 Member States and the European Union, which together represent around 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two-thirds of the world’s population. It brings together the world’s major advanced economies and developing countries and facilitates policy coordination in order to achieve global economic stability and promote long-term sustainable and inclusive growth.

Addressing major challenges to the global economy has been a traditional focus of the G20 agenda. The G20 also works in close partnership with International Organisations, which are tasked to collaborate together in order to achieve agreed objectives.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 082 884 5974.


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