Lanting, 26 May 2016
Friends from the Press,
Today is 26 May, and tomorrow will mark the 100-day countdown of the G20 Hangzhou Summit. Indeed, the Summit is drawing near. On 4-5 September, President Xi Jinping will be joined by leaders from other G20 members, guest countries and international organizations in Hangzhou to discuss ways to advance global economic cooperation and development. The world will turn its eyes to the G20, to China and to Hangzhou.
The G20 is widely recognized as the premier forum for global economic governance. This can be well illustrated by the following figures: the G20 accounts for two thirds of the world population, 60% of total land mass, 85% of global GDP and 80% of international trade. Hence, it is fair to say that the performance of G20 economies has a direct bearing on the well-being of the world economy and that cooperation among G20 members decides the future of international economic cooperation.
The G20 is different from previous cooperation mechanisms. Here, developed countries and developing countries sit at the same table as equal partners, and discuss and decide on international economic matters on an equal footing. This reflects a major change in the world economic pattern and represents historical progress in keeping with the trend of our times.
The G20 marks a departure from the old logic of "beggar thy neighbor". In the face of the international financial crisis, G20 members have coordinated monetary and fiscal policies, pushed ahead reform of international financial institutions, and brought the world economy from the brink of precipice. This spirit of partnership and solidarity in times of difficulty is the most valued asset of the G20.
So far, the G20 has held ten summits. This year, it is China's turn to play host.
Right now, the world economy is in a crucial transition period with both opportunities and challenges. First, the old approach of stimulating growth merely through fiscal and monetary policies has become less and less effective. Second, policies of the world's major economies have clearly diverged, making it harder to form synergy. Third, trade and investment protectionism is rearing its head, and the building of an open economy remains a long and daunting task. And fourth, the world economy, though recovered somewhat from the crisis, is still weak in growth and under constant downward pressure.
At this crucial juncture, the international community is full of expectations of this year's G20 Summit, hoping that outcomes from the Hangzhou Summit will reenergize the world economy. As the host, we are keenly aware of the heavy responsibilities on our shoulders.
At the Hangzhou Summit, we would like to focus on the core challenges and outstanding issues confronting the world economy and work with all parties to seek common solutions and contribute China's wisdom. We aim to steady growth in the near term by addressing the symptoms and add momentum to the long term by treating the root causes. We want to facilitate G20's transition from a crisis-response mechanism to one focusing on long-term governance so as to better lead world economic growth and international economic cooperation.
At the Antalya Summit last year, President Xi spoke about the theme and key priorities of the Hangzhou Summit as well as China's basic approach. On 1 December last year, the very day China took over the G20 presidency, President Xi delivered a special message, expounding on China's vision and considerations. China chose "Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy" as the theme of the Hangzhou Summit and identified four key priorities, namely, "breaking a new path for growth", "more effective and efficient global economic and financial governance", "robust international trade and investment" and "inclusive and interconnected development". The theme and topics proposed by China have received strong endorsement and support from other G20 members. They all agree that China's vision embodies long-term, strategic considerations and demonstrates a broad perspective and ambitious goals.
G20 activities run through the whole year of China's presidency, with the culmination in the Hangzhou Summit. Throughout the year, 66 events will be held in 20 Chinese cities. Among them, there are 23 ministerial-level meetings, including four G20 ministers meetings, five Sherpa meetings, four Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meetings, four finance and central bank deputies meetings and six large-scale side events. Forty-three working group meetings in various fields will be held. Altogether nearly tens of thousands of people will get involved. These meetings will lay the ground for the Hangzhou Summit from different areas and perspectives and help translate consensus into action.
Since assuming presidency last December, we have held two Sherpa meetings and two Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meetings. Working groups on development, trade and investment, employment, energy and infrastructure have met several times as well. The International Financial Architecture Working Group, dormant for years, has been reactivated. Three newly-established special working groups on innovation, new industrial revolution and digital economy have started their work. We are now halfway through the Chinese presidency, and much progress has already been made. The theme and key priorities proposed by China have won widespread support. The framework and main areas of summit outcomes have taken shape. Arrangements for the main events have been decided, and venue construction is progressing according to plan. Here I want to assure you that China is ready and Hangzhou is ready to welcome our distinguished guests from all over the world.
In the next 100 days, summit preparations will enter the final sprint. We will hold another two Sherpa meetings in June and early September and a Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in July. Starting from June, G20 meetings for agriculture ministers, energy ministers, employment ministers and trade ministers will be held in quick succession. Major side events such as the B20 business forum, the Labor 20, the Think-tank 20, the Youth 20, the Women 20 and the Civil 20 will follow. All these activities are important to increase consensus and solidify achievements, which will lead us to one common destination - the 11th G20 Summit to be held in Hangzhou on 4-5 September.
You might be interested to learn what results the Hangzhou Summit will deliver and what impacts it will have on the world economy. In preparing for the summit, we aim to be problem-oriented. In response to policy divergence, we will push for greater macroeconomic policy coordination to avoid negative spill-over effect. In view of the gap between old and new growth drivers, we will champion reform and innovation to unleash new impetus and achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth. In light of the risks and uncertainties in the world economy, we will strive to improve global economic governance and safeguard international financial stability. To address sluggish trade and investment and resurging protectionism, we will reinvigorate the two engines of growth and build an open world economy. On the issue of development gap, we will push the G20 to take the lead and play an exemplary role in global cooperation on sustainable development.
With these goals in mind, we are working with all sides to deliver ten major outcomes.
First, work out a blueprint for innovation-driven growth. "Breaking a new path for development" has been made a main item on this year's summit agenda. It will be the first time for the G20 to focus on the medium-to-long term driving force for global growth. It is good to note that China's initiative has received increasing recognition from other G20 members. At the meetings of innovation, new industrialization and digital economy working groups held in the middle of this month, members agreed in principle that a blueprint for innovation-driven growth needs to be drawn. The blueprint will not only lock on the fresh impetus to global growth but will also lay out specific action plans through which to boost innovation, new industrial revolution and the digital economy. This will enable G20 members to come together toward a common vision of opening up a new path for global growth with concrete actions and through specific mechanisms.
Second, adopt an action plan for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As the biggest developing country, China is keen to see development issues receiving greater attention and input from the G20. It is hoped that the summit will be recorded with two "first times", i.e. the first time for the development issue to take a prominent position within the global macro-policy framework, and the first time for an action plan to be drawn on implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We hope that collective and individual actions on the part of the G20 will give a strong impetus to the UN sustainable development agenda. A bigger number of developing countries will be invited to take part in the Hangzhou Summit so as to make the summit more representative of developing countries in the world. The message China hopes to convey is that the G20 belongs not only to its 20 members but also to the whole world, and that the G20 cares about not just its own interests but the common development of all in the world.
Third, identify priority areas and set up guiding principles as well as an indicator system for structural reforms. Agreement has been reached on the nine priority areas for G20 structural reforms, and a host of guiding principles as well as an indicator system are being worked out to monitor the progress and real effect. That will in fact be the first time in the G20 history. What it represents is the emphasis given to both the short and long-term impetus to driving growth. While continuing to use proper fiscal and monetary policies to meet the immediate challenges, priority may also be given to structural reforms as a way to unleash the medium and long term potential of growth.
Fourth, adopt a global trade growth strategy. Trade, like the blood that drives the world economy, is crucial for building an open global economy. For years, global trade has been growing at a pace slower than that of the world economy. Trade and investment will be on this year's summit agenda, and regular platforms such as the G20 trade ministers' meeting and the trade and investment working group have also been planned. The global trade growth strategy is aimed at reversing the downward growth of global trade by coordinating trade and investment policies, taking facilitating measures to lower trade costs and increasing trade financing.
Fifth, lay out the guiding principles for global investment policies. Currently, there are some over 3,200 bilateral treaties to regulate international investment, something that does little service to facilitating cross-border cooperation on investment. China hopes that the summit could introduce a set of guiding principles for global investment, which, as the first framework of multilateral investment norms, would have a pioneering effect on global investment. Of course, it might be some time before these norms become more substantiate, but the beginning of such a process does mean something important.
Sixth, deepen reform of the international financial architecture. Since the time China took over the G20 Presidency, the RMB has been included into the SDR basket and major progress has been made in the reform of long-delayed reform formula. On such basis, China encourages the IMF to complete its 15th General Review of Quotas, with a view to strengthening the global financial safety net and upholding international financial stability.
Seventh, launch three-pronged anti-corruption cooperation. The summit will work out the high-level principles on international fugitive repatriation and asset recovery, set up a research center on anti -corruption cooperation and make an anti-corruption action plan (2017-2018) to guide anti-corruption efforts with guiding principles and through due mechanisms and concrete actions, in order to ensure that G20 countries provide no safe heaven for corruption offenders.
Eighth, initiate cooperation to support industrialization of Africa and least developed countries (LDCs) in the world. For Africa and LDCs, it is imperative to speed up industrialization and build up capacity for home-grown development. This year, China will encourage G20 members to help Africa and LDCs speed up industrialization, reduce poverty and pursue sustainable development by means of capacity building, investment increase and infrastructure improvement.
Ninth, formulate an entrepreneurship action plan. It is China's strategy to encourage nationwide entrepreneurship and innovation. A G20 entrepreneurship action plan, formulated this year, will give strong stimulus to global growth and job creation, and will provide an important platform for countries to exchange best practice and experience. The action plan raises a number of policy recommendations and comes up with specific ways of implementation, which could serve as a source of reference for countries concerned.
Tenth, push for early entry-into-force of the Paris Agreement on climate change. With the initiative of China and the support of all parties concerned, the G20 Sherpa Meeting this April has issued the G20's first ever Presidency Statement on Climate Change, by which parties pledged to sign, on 22 April or at an early date afterwards, the Paris Agreement, and to complete domestic approval procedures as early as possible. Such a move has been acknowledged and welcomed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a special statement. By now, most G20 members and guest countries have signed on the Paris Agreement. China urges parties involved to quicken the pace of domestic approval so that the Agreement could enter into force at an early date to coordinate actions and contribute to international cooperation on climate change.
In addition, at this year's first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting held in February, parties agreed to resort to all policy tools, fiscal, monetary and structural reforms alike, to avoid competitive monetary devaluation and enhance policy consultation on exchange rates. This has been the G20's strongest message in recent years about increasing macroeconomic policy coordination. It has sent a positive signal of unity, which helped stabilize expectation and boost confidence, and was well received by the international economic circle and the media. We hope the Hangzhou Summit could consolidate and expand such outcome and rally efforts to strengthen defense for the world economy.
In this year, China has also encouraged the G20 to formulate action plans or cooperation initiatives in green finance, inclusive finance, investment and infrastructure, energy accessibility, renewable energy, energy efficiency and food security, as part of the joint endeavor to enhance international economic cooperation and strengthen global economic governance.
In addition to the above outcomes, the Hangzhou Summit will feature the following two highlights:
One is the rich and colorful events that will be arranged. When an emerging mechanism like the G20 comes to China, it will echo with the time-honored civilization. A summit in China will bear witness to human progress and write a brilliant chapter in the G20 history. The summit will be held back to back with a B20 business forum, the biggest of its kind, on how to boost global growth. President Xi Jinping will make a keynote speech at the B20 business forum. An informal BRICS leaders meeting will be held before the summit, and the summit itself will run from the afternoon of September 4 to the afternoon of September 5. President Xi Jinping will chair the summit and brief the Chinese and international media on its outcomes after the summit closes. In addition, cultural events of distinct Chinese style will be hosted to welcome foreign leaders and participants. I believe our guests will be immersed in the rich Chinese civilization, feel the dynamism of the country brought by reform and opening up, and have a personal taste of the unique culture of Hangzhou and the hospitality of its people. When they go back home, I'm sure they will have some fond memories to take with them.
The other is about the open and inclusive working style in hosting the summit. It is important for us to pool the wisdom and listen to all parties if we want to make the summit successful. China attaches importance to all sorts of views and respects all sorts of voices. China has been working closely with other G20 members as well as guest countries and international organizations, which deepened mutual understanding and enhanced the ground for cooperation. Six supporting events, i.e. the B20 business forum, the Women 20, the Labor 20, the Civil 20, the Youth 20 and the Think-tank 20, will be held. We hope participation in these events from across the social spectrum will broaden the basis for common ground.
By the time we spoke, a number of G20 outreach dialogues have been held under China's initiative. We visited the UN General Assembly, the AU Headquarters, G77, LDCs, landlocked countries and small island states, and as many people as possible to brief them on the Hangzhou Summit and listen to their views and suggestions. These outreach dialogues have covered almost all UN member states, the over 130 developing countries in particular. And China will continue to listen widely to other parties at such forum like this year's Summer Davos.
The Chinese often say that "the last couple of miles on the journey might be the most difficult". Preparations leading up to the summit are crucial and require even more hard work. We also believe that "the fire will run high if all hands add wood to it." A successful summit won't be possible without the strong support and coordination of other parties. China will continue to work with other parties in an open, inclusive and transparent manner, and will increase communication and coordination with them to ensure a successful summit, one that will deliver win-win outcomes to all G20 members and help move the world economy one step closer to strong, sustainable and balanced growth. We have full confidence that the goal will be met.
With this, the scroll of the Hangzhou Summit is to unfold. I look forward to welcoming you all in September.