G20 summit 2017: Top 10 facts

G20 summit 2017: Top 10 facts

G20 summit 2017: Top 10 facts

One of the most powerful international forums in the world gathered at Hamburg, Germany to influence the fate of global economies worldwide. The G20 comprises world leaders and bankers from the leading 20 economies of the world. Accounting for 85% of the world's GDP and as much as 2/3rd of its population, G20 was founded in 1999, following post WW2 initiatives to increase international economic cooperation. These initiatives also included the founding of the World Bank and the IMF.

Here are the top 10 facts about the G20 2017 summit held in Germany.

1. Stormiest Summit in Years

The world economy leaders gathered from July 7 to 8 in Hamburg, Germany this year for what was considered the stormiest summit. Disagreements among the nations gathering range from climate change and the Paris agreement to wars and global trade. Adding to the friction were the “Welcome to Hell” protestors who gathered to the tunes of thousands to protest corporate greed and economic blind sightedness to key climate change issues.

2. Current G20 members
ArgentinaPresident Mauricio Macri
AustraliaPrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
BrazilPresident Michel Termer
ItalyPrime Minister Paolo Gentiloni
JapanPrime Minister Shinzo Abe
MexicoPresident Enrique Pena Nieto
RussiaVladimir Putin
Saudi ArabiaKing Salman
South AfricaPresident Jacob Zuma
EU CommissionPresident Jean-Claude Juncker
EU CouncilPresident Donald Tusk
United StatesPresident Donald Trump
Republic of KoreaPresident Moon Jae-in
TurkeyPresident Recep Tayyip Erdogan
United KingdomPrime Minister Theresa May
IndonesiaPresident Joko Widodo
IndiaPrime Minister Narendra Modi
GermanyChancellor Angela Merkel
FrancePresident Emmanuel Macron
ChinaPresident Xi Jingping
CanadaPrime Minister Justin Trudeau

While Poland has been eyeing membership of the G20 since 2009, the world's 14th strongest economy, Spain has a policy of not accepting membership.

3. Critics in Plenty

Critics hold that this "self-appointed" club undermines the role of the international bodies, such the United Nations, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. The grouping has been a magnet for G20 protestors this year. But this has always been the case. For example, at the 2010 Toronto summit, anti-capitalist protestors were arrested and injured on a mass scale.

4. Guests to G20 2017

Rotating G20 summits invite 6 guest nations. This always includes permanent guest Spain and this year, the partner countries namely Norway, the Netherlands and Singapore.

5. Key Theme and Topics

The theme of the German presidency of the G20 was ‘Shaping an interconnected world'.

The leaders discussed the main topics of economic, financial, climate, trade, employment and development policy.

Migration and refugee flows and counter-terrorism were other key issues of global significance that will appear on the summit agenda.

The President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission represented the EU at the summit.

6. EU Priorities for G20

The President of the European Council Donald Tusk and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker presented the key issues for the summit in a joint letter sent to EU heads of state or government:
  • Role of G20 in making the global economy work for all
  • Open and fair rules-based multilateral trading system and resilient international monetary and financial system
  • Economic benefits of climate action and the potential of the digital revolution
  • Tax avoidance and evasion
  • Fight against terrorism and terrorist financing
  • Shared responsibility for refugees and migrants, and partnering with Africa for investment, growth and jobs
  • G20 preparation leaders' meeting
7. No to Terrorism

In the 12th G20 Summit held in Hamburg, the leaders of the G20 countries has agreed for taking concrete steps to stop funding of the terror activities. The leaders have also pledged for a joint crackdown on the global scourge of terrorism and check its funding sources.

Responding to Indian PM Narendra Modi’s call for united action against terrorism and elimination of terrorist safe havens, the G20 countries strongly condemned all terrorist attacks worldwide and pledged greater coordination to counter the menace.

The leaders also agreed to facilitate swift action and targeted exchange of information between intelligence, law enforcement and judicial authorities. The G20 leaders have also called upon the private sector including the communication firms to curb the misuse of the internet for terror propaganda.

The G-20 nations have also pledged to ensure terrorists are brought to justice.

Further, the G20 leaders reiterated their resolve to make the international financial system entirely hostile to terrorist financing. The leaders have also called for taking strong measures against the terrorist organisation like ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, Al Qaida etc.

8. Ease of Doing Business

Praising steps being taken by India for sustainable and inclusive growth as well as support to global economy, the G20 has praised the initiatives in the country for promoting ease of doing business, startup funding and labour reforms.

In its Hamburg Action Plan, adopted at the G20 Summit of leaders from the world’s 20 largest economies, the group also noted that “in the financial sector, India is popularising a number of derivative instruments in exchanges or electronic trading platforms” as measures to enhance resilience of its economy.

It further said India is facilitating external commercial borrowings (ECBs) by startups in order to encourage innovation and promote ease of doing business, through efforts being taken by the G20 members this year for maintaining momentum on structural reforms and sustainable growth.

The acknowledgement from the G20 Summit assumes significance in the wake of India trying hard to improve its global ranking for ease of doing business.

9. The Greenhouse Effect Vs The Trump Effect

Of the G20 countries that met in Hamburg, the US was the only nation holding from a statement reaffirming a commitment to work toward the carbon emission reduction goals in the Paris climate agreement.

The final statement of the Group of 20 summit underlined that the other countries and the European Union supported the Paris climate agreement rejected by Trump. They called the deal to reduce greenhouse gases “irreversible” and vowed to implement it quickly and without any exceptions.

10. A Compromise on Free Trade

Leaders from the G20 countries vowed to fight protectionism and secure fair trade, finding a broad consensus after President Donald Trump’s defiantly unilateral stance exposed a rift between the world’s leading economies.

In light of the broad political pushback against globalisation and the rise in anti-establishment forces in recent years, however, the G20 stepped back from an unequivocal commitment to free trade for the first time since its inaugural summit in 2008. Instead, it recognised the need for defensive measures in pursuit of balanced trade.

When Angela Merkel chose her birthplace Hamburg for the G20 summit, she hoped to showcase a world that was united. But with the split on climate change and the compromise on free trade, the very opposite has happened. As the divide among nations grows, one wonders if G20 summits are a mere storm in a teacup, as the world order sees a sea change and differences widen.
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