"Naturally, we had hoped for something more substantial with more concrete policy actions", said Jürgen Heraeus, President of the B20, the official G20 dialogue partner, after the G20 Summit came to a close. "In view of the difficult negotiating climate, however, the Declaration can be regarded as a success, even if it does little more than secure the status quo in many areas", Heraeus continued. "It is thanks to the diplomatic skill of the German federal government that the G20 members were able to reach compromises at all", said the President of the B20.
The B20 welcomes the G20’s commitment to open markets, the willingness of its members to fight protectionism, and their announcement to work together towards a successful WTO ministerial conference in Argentina later this year. However, the language often remains extremely vague, such as 'all unfair trade practices', which could open a door to new protectionism. The G20 has also missed the opportunity to agree on a modern trade agenda fit for the 21st century.
In the area of climate and energy, all G20 members, apart from the United States, recommitted to implement the Paris Climate Agreement. The B20 welcomes the fact that the remaining 19 G20 members clearly rejected the desire of the United States to renegotiate the Agreement by calling it ‘irreversible’. The B20 also welcomes the G20 ‘Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth’.
The G20 recognizes the digital transformation as a driving force for global, innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth that can help reduce inequalities and achieve the objectives of the UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. By 2025, all citizens are to be digitally connected. However, the B20 regrets the fact that the G20 Declaration is falling behind expectations in many key economic issues. "We had hoped for more regarding global standards, IT security, and the potential of artificial intelligence", Heraeus regrets.
An extremely important success of the German G20 Presidency is the new partnership with Africa, the ‘Compact with Africa’. With the reform partnerships, the G20 wants to improve the framework conditions for investments in the African partner countries. The partnerships also aim to promotine peace, stability, and security.
Read the full press release here.