Drawing by Niyaz Karim
From the start, Russia proposed focusing its G20 presidency agenda on two main tasks: achieving balanced growth and job creation. Throughout our presidency, G20 experts have been assessing key global risks for sustainable growth and have developed policy actions to mitigate these challenges.
To this end, at the G20 Summit on September 5-6, 2013, the St. Petersburg Action Plan for Growth and Jobs is to be approved by the leaders. An updated report on the imbalances in the G20 economies, as well as a review of the progress on previous G20 commitments, will also be discussed.
Decisive steps have already been taken by the G20 to strengthen global growth. But global economic recovery is still fragile, and large downside risks remain. Russia has identified stimulating economic growth and job creation as primary objectives of the G20 Summit. In addition, it is important to send the right co-ordinated signals to the markets.We should continue our dialogue regarding a future exit from non-conventional monetary and credit policies, assess their spillover impact on other countries and, possibly, create some hedging instruments for emergencies.
Employment and job creation, including for vulnerable groups, are other key items of the growth agenda. Russia hosted the Joint G20 Finance and Labour Ministers’ Meeting on July 19 – the first time in G20 history that such a high-level meeting in such a format had been convened. The subsequent communiqué reflected the commitments on implementing integrated labour market policies, including employment policies and promoting job creation through investment.
On the financial track, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting was held on July 19-20. Our partners, including Australia as the next G20 president, supported further work on Russia’s priority theme: financing for investment. Among the issues discussed were monetary policy challenges, medium-term budget consolidation strategies, the role of small and medium enterprises, further reform of the international financial architecture and the problems of taxation.
I would also like to stress that the Outreach Strategy is an important part of Russia’s G20 presidency. It aims to win support from different outreach groups, which have all contributed to G20 policy-makers’ discussions.
In May, I hosted at our Embassy in London the meeting of the Business 20 Organising Committee, comprising the chairmen of the G20 countries entrepreneurs’ associations. Later in June, the Business 20 Summit entitled “Ç20-G20 Partnership for Economic Growth and Employment” was held as part of the annual st. petersburg International Economic Forum.
The concluding event of the Civil Track of Russia’s G20 presidency was the Civil 20 Summit, held earlier in June in Moscow. Russia is the first presiding country to organise the civil society consultations process in this format and at this level. The Civil 20 recommendations are expected to be reflected in the G20 Summit agenda and Leaders’ Statement.
I would not expect the G20 Summit to resolve overnight all the challenges that the global economy faces. From my perspective, however, the continued co-ordination of national macro-economic policies is worth the effort. In this regard, I am confident that G20 leaders in St. Petersburg will rise to the task of promoting further economic prosperity and job creation, and strengthen the path towards a strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
Alexander Yakovenko is Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He was previously Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
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