Turkey placed development at the centre of G20 work
16 October 2015
President Zuma congratulated President Erdogan on the success of the Turkish Presidency of the G20, which ensured that under Turkish leadership, development was placed at the centre of the G20 work.
The G20 Development Working Group successfully established stronger links with other work streams in the G20, which ensured the prominence of the development agenda throughout the G20 agenda.
The G20 focuses on developmental issues such as the promotion of small and medium enterprises, strengthening women's participation in the labour force as well as addressing youth unemployment – all of which was strongly applauded by President Zuma.
President Zuma welcomed the fact that the G20 has put Africa's development on the agenda with the focus on energy. Turkey hosted the first ever G20 Energy Ministers’ meeting this year, which among other things, focused on inclusive energy collaboration on the basis of the G20 energy principles agreed to at the last G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.
"We think that Turkey has set a good foundation for this new trajectory for the G20 which, if handled correctly, will contribute to a better world," said President Zuma.
South Africa and Turkey are to take their bilateral relations to the next level, with the setting up of a Binational Commission (BNC), the South African Presidency said.
This emerged after talks between President Jacob Zuma and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the margins of the G20 Leaders’ Summit taking place in Antalya, Turkey.
The two leaders agreed to structure relations between the two countries at a BNC level to be chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on the South African side and his counterpart on the Turkish side.
Presidents Zuma and Erdogan agreed to elevate relations in order to “further the already strong economic, social and political relations and especially to advance trade and people-to-people cooperation,” said the Presidency.
The two leaders also used their meeting to condemn the Paris terror attacks and welcomed the fact that terrorism would be discussed at the G20 Summit, as the matter required the attention of all leaders globally.
BRICS leaders call for cooperation in economic policies
BRICS leaders have called on the Group of 20 (G20) members to implement their respective national growth strategies with more urgency, given that the global economy is still at risk.
The bloc of emerging nations said the G20 must also “strengthen the macroeconomic policy coordination and cooperation among G20 members to avoid negative spill-overs and to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth”.
The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, met on Sunday on the sidelines of the G20 summit underway in the Turkish town of Antalya.
“They stressed their determination to continue to work together with other G20 members to make continuous contributions to a more rapid and sustainable recovery of the global economy and towards the reduction of potential risks,” the leaders said in a statement issued after their meeting.
They also noted that geopolitical challenges, including the politicisation of economic relations and the introduction of unilateral economic sanctions, continue to beset future prospects for economic growth.
They stressed the need to ensure that trade and economic blocs are consistent with World Trade Organisation (WTO) norms and principles, and contribute to strengthening the multilateral trading system.
They decided to strive to facilitate market interlinkages and an inclusive, rules-based and open world economy.
BRICS leaders also expressed their “deep disappointment” at the lack of progress in modernising international financial institutions, especially on the agreements on the reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
They urged the IMF - in cooperation with its members - to step up efforts in collaborating with the G20 to find solutions that would ultimately make it possible to increase the institution's quota resources and review the distribution of quotas and votes in favour of developing countries and emerging market economies.
“The adoption of the 2010 IMF reforms remains the highest priority for safeguarding the credibility, legitimacy and effectiveness of the IMF and the leaders urge the United States to ratify these reforms as soon as possible,” the statement read.
However, they were also pleased with progress made with regards to the New Development Bank (NDB), which will enhance cooperation with existing and new financing institutions, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The NDB is starting its operating activities and is expected to launch its inaugural projects in the beginning of 2016.
Furthermore, the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) has been established and will contribute to the stability of the international financial system in view of the increased volatility of the world financial and economic situation.
The group also underlined the importance of strengthening BRICS strategic partnership guided by the principles of “openness, solidarity, equality, mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation”.
The group declared their readiness to support China in its upcoming G20 Presidency.
On current affairs, the leaders strongly condemned the abhorrent terror attacks in Paris and reaffirmed their support for the people and government of France and the efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.
They recommitted to strengthen cooperation among BRICS countries and with other nations in the fight against terrorism.
Photos: Siyabulela Duda, GCIS