30 August 2013
2013 G-20 Leaders' Summit in St. Petersburg
The G-20 Leaders' Summit will take place on September 5 and 6, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Priorities for the Summit include fostering growth through effective regulation, creating quality jobs and investment opportunities, and increasing trust and transparency.
It has been five years since the onset of the global recession and the first G-20 Leaders' Summit. While much progress has been made since then, more work is required. Leaders are meeting at a time at which risks to global growth remain significant and new risks are emerging. The largest risk to the global outlook continues to be the situation in Europe, where a slower-than-expected pick up in economic activity would further restrain the weak global recovery. In the face of such global economic uncertainty, Canada remains resilient, as the Government continues to take strong action through Canada's Economic Action Plan to foster jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. However, external uncertainty continues to pose a risk to the Canadian economic outlook, making it critical that we continue to work together with our G-20 partners to promote strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
The world is looking to the G-20 to lay the framework necessary for sustainable global economic growth and job creation. Canada hopes that this year's summit will result in commitments for further action on key issues such as financial regulation and trade liberalization.
The Group of 20 (G-20)
The G-20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation, and provides Leaders with an opportunity to have frank and open discussions on the state of the global economy. Together, the members of the G-20 account for over 85 percent of the world economy and two thirds of the world's population. Through coordinated approaches to global financial and economic challenges, the G-20 helps to advance stability, growth, jobs and prosperity.
Members of the G-20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. This year, Russia, as host, has also invited Brunei Darussalam, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Singapore and Spain to participate. In addition to these members and invited guests, several international organizations will also participate, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Canada and the St. Petersburg Summit
Canada welcomes the opportunity afforded by the St. Petersburg Summit to engage G-20 Leaders on the requisite actions to strengthen the global economy. Canadian priorities for the Summit include:
The St. Petersburg Action Plan
Canada, together with India, continues to co-chair the Framework Working Group for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth. The Framework Working Group is responsible for developing the St. Petersburg Action Plan, which will be issued at the Summit. The Action Plan is the vehicle through which G-20 members commit to a range of policy measures and structural reforms to achieve the shared goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth. Canada is working to secure agreement on a St. Petersburg Action Plan which strengthens demand and addresses key risks to the global economy in the near term, while also laying the policy foundations for long-term growth and prosperity. Canada will also continue to push for a robust accountability assessment that tracks progress on commitments made at previous G-20 Summits.
Financial Sector Reforms
Financial sector reform is another Canadian priority. At the 2012 G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the full, consistent and timely implementation of agreed financial sector reforms. Among the most important of these are commitments aimed at ensuring that banks and other lending institutions around the world are sound and resilient so that crises like the one experienced in 2008 are avoided altogether, and any future shocks are managed and mitigated effectively.
All G-20 members have taken positive steps to implement the regulatory requirements of Basel III, the agreed international standard for stronger regulation of the banking sector. The implementation of Basel III is a significant milestone and speaks to the important role that the G-20 plays in promoting sound and stable financial regulation. Canada will continue to advocate for consistent and coordinated G-20 actions to maintain the momentum on these critical reforms.
Canada continues to take important steps to implement these requirements. For example, Economic Action Plan 2013 announced the Government's intention to implement a comprehensive risk management framework for Canada's systemically important banks.
Increased international trade plays a significant role in creating new sources of economic growth. Canada strongly supports measures that facilitate international trade and is promoting the most ambitious trade agenda in its history. Canada's pro-trade plan is guided by its Global Commerce Strategy, which aims to position Canada as a world leader in a highly competitive global economy by strengthening the market environment, which will allow Canadian firms to succeed. Canada is actively engaging with established markets while also pursuing emerging markets. Ongoing commitment to the multilateral trading system and continued engagement with the United States, through initiatives such as the Beyond the Border Action Plan and the Regulatory Cooperation Council Action Plan, remain key pillars of Canada's trade strategy. We are also focused on concluding free trade agreements with the European Union, India, Japan, Korea and the countries comprising the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
At the G-20 Summit, Canada will advocate for an extension of the G-20 members' commitment against the implementation of new protectionist measures, which impede trade and economic growth.
The Development Working Group was established at the Toronto G-20 Summit in June 2010. Later that year, a multi-year action plan was launched at the Seoul Summit establishing the G-20's engagement on international development issues for an initial three-year period. At this year's Summit, an accountability exercise will inform Leaders of the results of the G-20's work towards commitments that were included in this action plan. Leaders will use this opportunity to discuss lessons learned, identify areas of strength for the G-20, and move forward on a new plan for G-20 development initiatives.
Over the past year, Canada and Russia have co-chaired the G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group. Canada is working on securing a number of outcomes at the Summit that will strengthen anti-corruption efforts across the G-20. Leaders will consider guiding principles related to the enforcement of sentences for bribery and solicitation offences and mutual legal assistance, all of which will help fight corruption in G-20 countries. A progress report will also be issued at the Summit detailing actions taken by all G-20 members in support of anti-corruption objectives.