G20 leaders meet to discuss global economics

10 November 2014

The weak global economic climate will come under the spotlight when members of the Group of 20 countries meet in Brisbane, Australia from 15 to 16 November.

The G20 Leaders’ Summit will take place at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre where 4 000 officials from member countries, including a delegation from South Africa led by President Jacob Zuma, will thrash out a wide range of global economic issues to try and find solutions to improve people’s lives.

According to a statement from The Presidency of South Africa, the focus of the summit will be on how the G20, both collectively and individually, can take additional measures to significantly raise global growth by implementing policies aimed at lifting GDP by more than 2% over the next five years.

G20 to promote collective growth

“The G20 member countries have agreed to take concrete actions to promote this collective growth ambition, including measures on investment, competition, trade and employment.

“To achieve this, individual G20 member countries have developed country-specific growth strategies, which will form the basis of a proposed G20 Brisbane Action Plan, to be submitted to Leaders for endorsement,’ according to the statement.

A day before the start of the official summit, CEOs of major companies from G20 countries will engage with G20 leaders to discuss economic issues. On the first day of the summit Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott will host an informal retreat where leaders from the G20 countries will deliberate on current challenges and economic reform priorities.

BRICS leaders meeting

On the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit, BRICS Leaders are expected to meet “to reflect’ on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the 2014 Fortaleza Declaration. The meeting is expected to focus on the establishment of the New Development Bank and its Africa Regional Centre.

South Africa (the only African member of the G20) will use the opportunity presented by both the G20 Leaders’ Summit and the BRICS Leaders meeting to issues of particular concern to South Africa and the rest of Africa.

Of note, South Africa has set a national growth target of 5% by 2019 and is implementing various measures and interventions “to jump-start the economy’, according to The Presidency. “In particular, the implementation of a National Development Plan is key to achieving South Africa’s own national growth target and also in addressing the challenges of poverty eradication, job creation and inequality,’ The Presidency said.

About Group of 20

According to the G20 website the G20 is the premier forum for its 19 countries plus the European Union. Each year, the G20 president invites several guest countries each year to its annual meeting.

The G20 was formed in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. Later on in 2008, the first G20 Leaders’ Summit was held and the forum played a key role in helping member countries respond to the global financial crisis. Since then, G20 leaders have met eight times.

In the last five years, the G20 has played a critical role in restoring economic stability in the world economy and is fully working on growing national economies. “With the world now free from immediate economic crisis, the G20 can increasingly shift its attention to driving practical actions that will lead to sustained global growth,’ says the website.

The G20 is supported by international organisations, including the Financial Stability Board, the International Labour Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization.

SAinfo reporter and SAnews.gov