Faced with challenges of protectionism across the world, the Osaka declaration on Saturday said that the G-20 leaders will strive to realise a “free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable” trade and investment environment, and to keep “markets open”.
At the end of the G-20 summit here, the declaration also said they would work to ensure a level playing field to foster an enabling business environment.
US President Donald Trump has attended all the meetings, and has signed off on it, along with other leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping among others.
Stressing that there are growing risks to the global economy, leaders of the group of 20 major economies Saturday called for a free and stable trade environment and reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“We strive to realize a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open. International trade and investment are important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development,” the Osaka declaration said.
The last Buenos Aires declaration in 2018 did not have such a clear enunciation of the goal.
“We reaffirm our support for the necessary reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to improve its functions. We will work constructively with other WTO members, including in the lead up to the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference. We agree that action is necessary regarding the functioning of the dispute settlement system consistent with the rules as negotiated by WTO members. Furthermore, we recognize the complementary roles of bilateral and regional free trade agreements that are WTO-consistent. We will work to ensure a level playing field to foster an enabling business environment,” it said.
“Growth remains low and risks remain tilted to the downside. Most importantly, trade and geopolitical tensions have intensified. We will continue to address these risks and stand ready to take further action,” the G-20 leaders said in a declaration.
The group decided to step up “dialogue and actions to enhance confidence” and use all policy tools to achieve strong and inclusive growth, and safeguard against downward risks.
To enhance cooperation, the G-20 members called for carefully calibrated macroeconomic and structural policies “tailored to country-specific circumstances” to address excessive current account imbalances and mitigate the risks to achieving the G-20 goal of strong and inclusive growth.
Calling on the International Monetary Fund to expedite its work on its resources and governance reform on a priority basis, the G-20 urged the IMF and World Bank Group to continue efforts to strengthen borrowers’ capacity in the area of debt recording, monitoring and reporting among others under their multi-pronged approach.
The group further said that it will redouble its efforts for a consensus-based solution on tax challenges arising from digitalisation with a report by 2020.
“We call on all jurisdictions to sign and ratify the multilateral convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters. We reiterate our support for tax capacity building in developing countries,” the declaration said.