7 November 2011
South Africa is encouraged by the Group of Twenty’s commitment to an action plan for growth and jobs, President Jacob Zuma said at the conclusion of the G20 summit in Cannes, France on Friday.
“We are pleased with the commitment to an Action Plan for Growth and Jobs, which is an undertaking to renew efforts to combat unemployment and promote decent jobs, especially for the youth and others who have been most affected by the economic crisis,” Zuma said.
According to the Presidency, the focus on job creation is in line with South Africa’s domestic focus on transforming the economy to promote inclusive growth and decent jobs.
Zuma said the sovereign debt crises as well as credit rating downgrades of Eurozone economies had raised fears about a deepening financial crisis in the region.
“We welcome the progress made by European leaders in their effort to resolve the current crisis. We urge them to continue to take decisive actions that will build confidence in the global economy.”
The two-day summit, which ended on Friday, took place against the background of risks to the global economy, notably the risk posed by financial sector weakness.
“We have also urged all G20 member countries to play their part to prevent the negative spill-over effect of the crisis on developing and low-income countries in line with the action plan,” Zuma said.
South Africa was concerned that slow growth in the world economy was affecting Africa’s trade, growth and job creation prospects. South Africa’s real GDP growth was expected to remain below its pre-crisis 5% average at 3.5% over the next two years.
South Africa also supported calls for ways to address loose monetary policies in advanced economies, while also strongly supporting the continued mainstreaming of development discourse in the G20, Zuma said.
Over the course of the summit, South Africa participated and co-chaired the G20 Development Working Group alongside France and Korea.
“While we participate in the G20 in a national capacity, we have always been mindful of the concerns of developing countries and the special challenges faced by Africa,” Zuma said. “The success of the development agenda of the G20 is crucial for the long-term credibility and legitimacy of the G20 for developing countries.”
South Africa supported recommendations made by the High Level Panel on Infrastructure, premised on the understanding that facilitating increased private sector involvement was essential for enhancing infrastructure financing.
Zuma said South Africa also supported the work of the Development Working Group on food security and building resilience in low-income countries, as this was critical in preventing cases of famine such as the one in Somalia.
“We welcome chairing of the Development Working Group by Mexico in 2012 and the continued implementation of the Seoul Multi-Year Action Plan to support economic growth in developing countries.”