World leaders have concluded their trip to Russia where they attended this year’s G20 summit in Saint Petersburg.
Although they remained deeply divided over possible US military strikes in Syria, world leaders emerged from the meeting on Friday satisfied that progress was being made in stabilising the global economy.
A majority were not in favour of any punitive action unless it was agreed by the UN Security Council.
Investing in economic growth and creating jobs was the main priority on the G20 agenda this year. Leaders signed off on a jobs and growth initiative, as well as steps to combat international tax evasion and tighten financial regulation.
In a final declaration released at the close of the summit on Friday, it was agreed to implement a broad range of financial reforms to address the major fault lines that caused the economic crisis that set in in 2008.
“We are building more resilient financial institutions, making substantial progress towards ending too big to fail increasing transparency and market integrity, filling regulatory gaps and addressing the risks from shadow banking.
“We will pursue our work to build a safe, reliable financial system responsive to the needs of our citizens,” read the declaration.
Leaders also agreed that corruption impedes sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction, threatening financial stability and the economy as a whole.
G20 countries had a responsibility to ensure that all people have an opportunity to gain from strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
“We endorse the St Petersburg Development Outlook to focus our efforts on concrete steps to improve food security, financial inclusion, infrastructure, human resource development and domestic resource mobilisation,” read the declaration.
But the summit also considered the main challenges to the global economy to be weak growth and persistently high unemployment, particularly among youth, and the need for more inclusive growth in many economies.
A G20 Action Plan to support development of local currency bond markets and recommendations on conducting market diagnostics for local currency bond markets were drafted.
Bonds issued in local currency are an important source of financing for long-term internal investment, above all in infrastructure. – SAnews.gov.za