President of Russia Vladimir Putin: This year marks the G20’s 5th anniversary. At the peak of the crisis the G20 members agreed on coordinated measures to support the global economy. We made the commitment to curb trade protectionism, developed new principles of financial regulation, and defined the objectives for future economic policy coordination and reform of financial institutions. The measures taken at that moment helped deter the crisis, stabilize the financial markets, and enhance the oversight over the systemically important financial institutions. The G20 members launched reshaping of the international financial architecture to make it more sustainable and fair, and started work on building the mechanisms for better mutual confidence.
The global economy, however, still remains at the risk zone. Though we are experiencing a slow recovery, its pace is not sufficient for leveling-off the global imbalances. Our common strategic goal is therefore to ensure strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth for all.
Since the very beginning of Russia’s G20 Presidency, we have identified fostering economic growth and job creation as our primary objectives. Mainly – through stimulating investment, effective regulation, and enhanced trust and transparency. Having these priorities as a starting point allowed us to ensure the continuity of the G20 work, and make considerable progress over the nine months in such areas, as implementation of the Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth, job creation, international financial system reform, strengthening of the multilateral trade.
These days the Russian G20 Presidency is on the verge of entering its most important stage, which is the Leaders’ Summit to be convened on September 5–6 in St. Petersburg. We have thoroughly and responsibly worked through all the items on our agenda, and are approaching the Summit with a solid track record of agreements.
Let me briefly touch upon a few of this year’s achievements. The G20 reached the consensus on the need to balance the policies aimed at stimulating the economic growth at a due pace with the medium-term strategies for fiscal consolidation. Clearly enough, we cannot win investors’ trust unless governments are open and transparent in the way they manage their budget deficits and public borrowings.
Another major accomplishment includes the work undertaken on reforming tax regulation fighting tax evasion. The G20 Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting developed with the support of the OECD can be by all means considered the most prominent step towards modernization and coordination of our countries’ tax policies in a hundred years.
Important decisions will be made to stimulate investment. A roadmap for the long-term investment financing has been developed to be implemented during the Australian Presidency, along with the principles for the institutional investors.
The joint meeting of the G20 finance and labour ministers was an innovation of the Russian Presidency. It gave us an opportunity to consider for the first time the issues of macro and finance policies in conjunction with the tasks of quality job creation and social protection, to discuss steps to stimulate youth employment and measures of labour activation of the vulnerable groups.
On the issue of development, an accountability report has been compiled for the first time in the G20 history. St. Petersburg Development Outlook has been developed to reflect the G20 priorities in assisting low-income countries and ensuring food security, financial inclusion, development of infrastructure and human capital, as well as mobilizing domestic resources.
We plan to finalize decisions for promoting capital markets development, establishing more efficient financial regulation and infrastructure both globally and nationally, strengthening the multilateral trade system, enhancing energy and commodity markets sustainability, and fighting corruption.
Enhanced outreach dialogue of the Russian Presidency, including with non-G20 countries and their associations, international organizations, private sector, trade unions, civil society, youth, think tanks and academia, has contributed to raising the transparency and efficiency of our work. We have tried to take into account all useful thoughts and recommendations of our outreach partners.
I am convinced that the forthcoming Leaders’ Summit in St. Petersburg will confirm the G20’s role as an efficient mechanism for coordinating the world’s leading economies’ approaches to global economy and finance. We anticipate further progress in consolidating our efforts to tackle the challenges we face and move further towards strong, balanced and inclusive growth, and sustainable development. And most importantly, towards our principal objective of better quality of life for the people.
We look forward to welcome our partners in St. Petersburg and are ready for a substantive collaboration and productive dialogue.