G20 Leaders’ Summit advances interests of the South
05 September 2016
President Jacob Zuma has concluded his working visit to Hangzhou in the People’s Republic of China, where he successfully participated in the Group of 20 (G20) Leaders’ Summit held from 3-5 September 2016 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 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 President Zuma.
Furthermore, President Zuma called for the strengthening of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the principal body to negotiate trade related matters. This entails working towards the early conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda in line with the development mandate and improving market access for exports of developing countries.
On the issue of inclusive and interconnected development, President 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.
With regard to the 4th Industrial Revolution, President Zuma said that: “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.”
The G20 Summit recognised Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) as a health, food security and economic threat of global magnitude.
President Zuma stressed that a multilateral solution is required as the lack of a global response could undermine the attainment of the health and other related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Importantly, in addressing this challenge, we need to uphold the principle of inclusivity. This requires that both developed and developing countries are included in research, development and production processes. We must ensure that all have access to these drugs,” said the President.
Prior to the G20 Summit, President Zuma interacted with representatives at the B20 Summit (Business 20). The B20 Summit provides a platform for G20 leaders to engage with various leaders of the business community and attempts to address global challenges. The President participated as a panellist in a B20 session on "Breaking a New Path for Growth." The President stated that this topic is important for South Africa, given the emphasis on innovation, the digital economy and the new industrial revolution.
President Zuma attended a Trilateral Meeting with H.E President Idriss Deby of Chad and H.E President Macky Sall of Senegal, representing the Chair of the AU and NEPAD, respectively, on the margins of the Summit. This meeting provided an opportunity to coordinate and reinforce common messages from an African perspective during the Leaders' Summit.
"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.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,” said the President.
President Zuma 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.
President Zuma held bilateral meetings on the margins of the Summit with H.E President Xi Jingping of the People's Republic of China, H.E Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, and H.E President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey where bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual concern were discussed.
The G20 Leaders' Communique was adopted as the outcome of Hangzhou Summit.
Germany is the incoming President of the G20 and will host the next G20 Summit in 2017.
Following the conclusion of the G20 Summit, President Zuma will travel to Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, where he will attend the "2nd Investing in Africa Forum," on 7 September 2016.
Enquires: Dr Bongani Ngqulunga on 082 308 9373 or Bongani@presidency.gov.za
Issued by: The Presidency