G20 Hangzhou Summit: Build Strong, Sustainable, Balanced and Inclusive World Economy
By H.E. Mr. Huang Huaguang
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Tonga
On September 4-5, the Group 20 Summit was held successfully in Hangzhou, China. The theme of the Summit is to foster an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy. Leaders from all around the world had good discussions on economic growth and cooperation and reached a lot of important consensus. Hangzhou Summit has concluded with a solution that addresses both the symptoms and root causes of the global economic problems.
Nowadays, the world economy faces a series of challenges: the dynamism provided by the last round of scientific and industrial revolution is waning while new impetus for growth is still in the making; protectionism is rising; global trade and investment are sluggish; the multilateral trading regime faces bottlenecks in development, and the emergence of various regional trade arrangements have led to fragmentation of rules; complex geopolitical factors and regional hot-spot issues as well as global challenges such as political and security conflicts and turmoil, refugee crisis, climate change and terrorism have all affected the world economy with consequences that cannot be overlooked.
In the face of these challenges, to foster an invigorated, balanced, inclusive and sustainable development are the main concerns of all countries around the world. Hangzhou Summit focused on these major issues and has reached the “Hangzhou Consensus” after wide and deep discussions. It includes improving the coordination of macro policies, breaking a new path for economic growth, building a more efficient global financial governance and stronger trade and investment, promoting inclusive and interconnected development and helping the industrialization of African and Least Development Countries. Initiated and supported by the Chinese side, the Summit enables the G20 to transform from a crisis response mechanism focusing on short-term policies to one of long-term governance that shapes medium-to long-term policies.
Hangzhou Summit has the largest participation from developing countries. One of the bright spots of this Summit is the wide and deep participation from the developing world. Before the Summit, Mr. Wang Yi, Chinese Foreign Minister made it clear that China is the largest developing country in the world, thus it’s our responsibility and obligation to protect and broaden the legitimate rights and interests for developing countries. So as the host country, China invited leaders from Laos (Chair of ASEAN), Chad (Chair of African Union), Senegal (President of New Partnership for Africa's Development), Thailand (Chair of Group 77) and developing countries like Kazakhstan and Egypt to this year’s Summit and makes the voice of the developing world to be heard by members of G20 and the rest of the world. The participation of developing countries also improves the representativeness of the G20 and sends a clear signal that all countries and people should benefit from the growth and development.
Hangzhou Summit has, for the first time, put the issue of development front and center of the global macro policy framework. To realize common development is the aspiration for people from all around the world, especially from the developing countries. In his opening remarks, Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out that according to relevant statistics, the world's Gini coefficient has reached around 0.7, higher than the recognized alarm level, which stands at 0.6. This is something we must pay great attention to. To achieve this goal, Hangzhou Summit put development as a priority on the agenda and had good discussions on the inclusive and interconnected development.
——The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been approved by UN General Assembly last September. It aims to eliminate all forms of poverty and ensure no one is left behind. During Hangzhou Summit, the first action plan has been formulated for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which will coordinate the work of G20 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
——To support the developing countries, it’s also the very first time in the Summit to propose the Initiative on Supporting Industrialization in Africa and Least Developed Countries, which would help the African countries and LDCs to realize better development by concrete measures like promoting economic restructure, improving investment for renewable energy, providing more training and etc.
——Infrastructure connectivity is the key to realize sustainable development and shared prosperity, which is of special significance for the developing countries. The Summit also endorsed the Global Infrastructure Connectivity Alliance Initiative and asked World Bank Group to serve as the Secretariat of the Alliance. It would focus on the coordination and cooperation on the infrastructure connectivity projects and inject new powers to world economy.
All the above-mentioned work plans and achievements would unleash the great potential for growth in developing and low income countries. It would also provide a solution to the problem of inequality and imbalance of world economy and make all people benefit from the economic growth.
Hangzhou Summit also witnessed the great breakthrough for addressing climate change. Climate change is a common challenge for all human beings and concerns the welfare of the people and the future of mankind. Last December, we reached the Paris Agreement and set the targets for international cooperation after 2020. Hangzhou Summit also focused on climate change and made its efforts in building a greener and more sustainable economy.
Before the Summit, China and United States both finished the domestic process for approving the Paris Agreement. On September 3, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama of US successively handed over the instruments of joining the Paris Agreement to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, improving the number for approving the Agreement to 26, and made a concrete step for the Agreement to come into effect. During the deposit ceremony, Ban Ki-moon said in his address that China and the US taking the lead in ratifying the Paris Agreement will greatly boost the agreement to take effect within this year. The UN speaks highly of the leadership role of China and the US in tackling climate change. Besides, in the Summit, all the leaders also made the commitment to complete the respective domestic procedures in order to join the Paris Agreement as soon as the national procedures allow and make efforts to enable the Paris Agreement to enter into force by the end of 2016 and look forward to its timely implementation with all its aspects.
The great achievements of Hangzhou Summit has been widely recognized and spoken highly in the international community. The success of the Summit shows that the G20 works for the interest of not just its 20 members, but also the whole world. We will work to ensure that growth and development benefit all countries and peoples and that the livelihood of all people, especially those in developing countries, will get better day by day. After the Summit, the world gains more confidence for the global economy and would take the Summit as a new starting point for a new path of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.