G20 leaders declare commitment to globalization, digital skills, women’s empowerment

G20 leaders declare commitment to globalization, digital skills, women’s empowerment

Promoting international trade and investment as important engines of growth, sharing the benefits of globalization, driving digitalization and digital skills, and women’s empowerment were key themes of the declaration made by leaders at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany this month.

In a press statement on behalf of the leaders made after the summit, they declared, “Mastering the challenges of our age and shaping an interconnected world is the common goal of the G20 as our premier forum for international economic cooperation.”

We present extracts of the statement here:

Sharing the benefits of globalization

International trade and investment are important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development. We will keep markets open noting the importance of reciprocal and mutually advantageous trade and investment frameworks and the principle of non-discrimination, and continue to fight protectionism including all unfair trade practices and recognize the role of legitimate trade defence instruments in this regard.

We will strive to ensure a level playing field, in particular by promoting a favorable environment for trade and investment in this regard. We commit to further strengthen G20 trade and investment cooperation. We call on the OECD, WTO, World Bank Group and IMF to continue their work to better understand trade impacts and report back to G20 Leaders in 2018.

We recognize that the benefits of international trade and investment have not been shared widely enough. We need to better enable our people to seize the opportunities and benefits of economic globalization. We agree to exchange experiences on the mitigation of the adjustment costs of trade and investment liberalization and technological change, and on appropriate domestic policies, as well as to enhance international cooperation towards inclusive and sustainable global growth.

International investment can play an important role in promoting inclusive economic growth, job creation and sustainable development, and requires an open, transparent and conducive global policy environment. We will seek to identify strategies to facilitate and retain foreign direct investment.

Harnessing digitalization

Digital transformation is a driving force of global, innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth and can contribute to reducing inequality and achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To this end, we need to bridge digital divides along multiple dimensions, including income, age, geography and gender.

We will strive to ensure that all our citizens are digitally connected by 2025 and especially welcome infrastructure development in low-income countries in that regard. We will promote digital literacy and digital skills in all forms of education and life-long learning.

We recognize that information and communication technology (ICT) plays a crucial role in modernizing and increasing efficiency in public administration. We recognize the important role that SMEs and start-ups play in the development of a full range of new and innovative business models and will promote better access to financial resources and services and a more entrepreneurial friendly environment.

We aim to foster favorable conditions for the development of the digital economy and recognize the need to ensure effective competition to foster investment and innovation. We will continue to promote effective cooperation of all stakeholders and encourage the development and use of market- and industry-led international standards for digitized production, products and services that are based on the principles of openness, transparency and consensus and standards should not act as barriers to trade, competition or innovation. They can promote interoperability and security in the use of ICT.

Trust in digital technologies requires effective consumer protection, intellectual property rights, transparency, and security in the use of ICT. We support the free flow of information while respecting applicable legal frameworks for privacy, data protection and intellectual property rights. The G20 Roadmap for Digitalisation will help us guide our future work.

We are committed to help ensure a secure ICT environment in which all sectors are able to enjoy its benefits and reaffirm the importance of collectively addressing issues of security in the use of ICT.

We will constructively engage in WTO discussions relating to e-commerce and in other international fora with responsibilities related to various aspects of digital trade to foster digital economy development and trade. We will sustain and improve, as appropriate, predictable and transparent frameworks on digital trade. Intensified and concerted action is needed to enhance the ability of developing and least developed countries to more fully engage in digital trade.

Women’s empowerment

Enhanced equal access to the labor market, property, quality employment and financial services for women and men are fundamental for achieving gender equality and full realisation of their rights as well as a prerequisite for sustainable and inclusive growth.

We are making progress in achieving our 2014 Brisbane commitment to reduce the gender gap in labour force participation by 25 percent by 2025 but agree that more needs to be done. We also commit to take further action to improve the quality of female employment and eliminate employment discrimination, and reduce gender compensation gaps and provide women with protection from all forms of violence.

Digitalisation and access to ICT serve as powerful catalysts for the economic empowerment and inclusion of women and girls. Access to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related training and occupations is therefore key to establish an enabling environment for women’s empowerment. We welcome the launch of the #eSkills4Girls initiative to promote opportunities and equal participation for women and girls in the digital economy, in particular in low income and developing countries.

In order to scale up support for women ́s entrepreneurship, we welcome the launch of the Women Entrepreneurs Financing Initiative (We-Fi), housed at the World Bank Group. The We-Fi will support ongoing G20 efforts to reduce barriers to financial inclusion and increase women ́s access to capital, markets and technical assistance as well as contribute to achieving the goals of the G20 Africa Partnership and the G20 Entrepreneurship Action Plan.

We will also establish a Business Women Leaders’ Taskforce, which will, in close cooperation with the W20 and B20, bring together business women from G20 countries to examine ways to increase women ́s participation in the economy and will make recommendations at next year’s summit on the implementation of G20 commitments regarding the economic empowerment of women.

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