G20 leaders discuss global governance issues at Hamburg summit

2017-07-08 15:39:49 | From:http://www.globaltimes.cn//content/1055444.shtml

The G20 summit 2017 kicked off in the German city of Hamburg on Friday, with leaders of 19 major economies and the EU holding discussions on global governance issues, especially free trade and climate change.

Chinese experts said that the summit serves as an important platform to promote globalization amid rising protectionism and populism. As the global confidence and process for tackling climate change have been affected by the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the Hamburg summit could offer a positive signal, they said, calling for joint efforts on global climate governance.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday underscored the role of innovation and development in boosting global growth and called on the international community to find new growth drivers.

"We must remain committed to openness and mutual benefit for all so as to increase the size of the global economic 'pie'," said Xi.

However, the world economy is still plagued by deep-seated problems and faces many uncertainties and destabilizing factors, Xi pointed out.

"Another source of growth derives from making greater efforts to address the issue of development and implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and such efforts will both benefit developing countries and generate business and investment opportunities for developed countries. In other words, this will be a win-win game for all," Xi said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a speech when opening the summit, saying that the solutions to great global challenges could only be found when G20 members were ready to strike a compromise.

"The Hamburg summit has stressed the importance of free trade as the world economy, although having recovered from the previous crisis, remains unstable and it needs free trade as an engine," Ding Chun, director of the Center for European Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Friday.

Ding pointed that free trade is currently under great pressure since US President Donald Trump has boosted the trend of anti-globalization and populism.

"But the EU, many of whose members are small economies, relies on free trade for economic development," Ding said.

The G20 Hamburg has also attached great importance to the global climate governance.

Merkel said that climate change is a key area which will be discussed, and world leaders are determined to honor the Paris climate accord - all except Trump. She said talks with Trump will "not be easy", AFP reported on Friday.

"This is the first meeting of leaders from major economies after Trump announced to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on June 1. It offers an opportunity for these countries to discuss how to deal with climate change, one of the greatest global challenges," Guo Hongyu, program manager from the Beijing-based nongovernmental organization Greenovation Hub, told the Global Times on Friday.

Guo said that Germany has tried to push the climate focus before and during the summit and launched the Sustainability Working Group, which drafted the G20 Action Plan on Climate and Energy for Growth and will submit to the summit. "Once the action plan is passed, it will help boost global confidence which has been shaken by the US pulling out of the Paris accord, and will set an example for small countries," Guo said.

BRICs meeting

"As G20 has emerged as a key platform for global crisis governance, it has become a significant occasion for leaders of influential economies to have bilateral and multilateral talks on hot topics," Ding said.

Leaders of the BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - met on Friday. Chinese President Xi said that the BRICS members should consolidate the role of the G20 mechanism as a premier platform for international economic cooperation, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday.

"Currently, the global economy is showing some positive signs, and the prospects for the development of BRICS countries are growing brighter in general, which is very inspiring," said Xi.

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