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President Ramaphosa pleased with G20 summit outcomes

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the world leaders have affirmed their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable growth.

World leaders attending the G20 summit opening session on 28 June 2019 in Osaka, Japan. From L-R: US President Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the G-20 Summit in Japan was a success.

World leaders gathered in Osaka to discuss challenges faced by the global economy and other issues.

They expressed concern over intensifying trade and geopolitical tensions and have vowed to address the risks.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the world leaders have affirmed their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable growth.

He said that Africa’s development would get a boost from the World Bank, the African Development Bank and International Monetary Fund's enhanced role in the realisation of the African Union's Agenda 2063.

The summit also agreed to work towards a free, fair, stable and open-market environment in trade and investment.

The declaration for cooperation follows heightened tensions between some of the world's major economies as trade wars rage on.

China and the US have been locked in a bitter trade battle that has seen US President Donald Trump blacklist Chinese mega telecoms company Huawei.

As more countries get drawn into trade wars that threaten the global economy, The Sunday Times has reported Ramaphosa has thrown Pretoria’s support behind China as it faces off with the US.

CHINA-US TENSIONS

Although this particular issue was not tackled by the world leaders, the Osaka declaration following the G20 summit stated they were concerned about the state of the global economy.

'Nobody reads the communique': Top G20 moments

The statement also noted global growth appears to be stabilising, projecting it could pick up moderately later in the year.

“Global growth appears to be stabilising and is generally projected to pick up moderately later this year and into 2020. This recovery is supported by the continuation of accommodative financial conditions and stimulus measures taking effect in some countries. However, growth remains low and risks remain tilted to the downside,” the statement stated.

“Most importantly, trade and geopolitical tensions have intensified. We will continue to address these risks, and stand ready to take further action.”

The South African economy contracted by 3.2% in the first quarter of the year, adding more pressure on an already distressed economic environment.

At the G20 meeting, which Ramaphosa attended, world leaders said they would work together to foster global economic growth, with a specific focus on technological innovation as the effects of the 4th Industrial Revolution become more apparent.

“As digitalisation is transforming every aspect of our economies and societies, we recognise the critical role played by effective use of data, as an enabler of economic growth, development and social well-being. We aim to promote international policy discussions to harness the full potential of data.”

TALKS OVER TIES

In a statement on Sunday, the Presidency said the South African delegation held several bilateral meetings to strengthen relations with Russia, China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, including the president of the World Bank.

Two-thirds of the world, which make up 85% of the global economy, took part in the summit that focuses on efforts to address major economic challenges.

Some of the resolutions from this year’s G20 summit included commitments to working towards a free, transparent and open market environment.

“In the interest of advancing African development, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the timely implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. There are also enhanced roles for the World Bank, African Development Bank, and International Monetary Fund to implement the Compact with Africa. This initiative will contribute to the realisation of the African Union's Agenda 2063,” the Presidency said.

World leaders vow to address trade and geopolitical tensions

The statement said future summits would also take stock of progress in curbing illicit financial flows.

“Regarding digitalisation, global leaders agreed that to harness the full potential of data, there needs to be a data flow with trust, to be enabled through international policy discussions on the sharing of good practices and regulatory frameworks.

“Additionally, the G20 will implement its the anti-corruption action plan for 2019-2021, which strengthens synergies among related international instruments. There is also a strong will among the majority of the member countries to pursue the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement's goals of dealing with Climate Change,” the statement stated.

Ahead of the G20 summit, Ramaphosa convened the standing trilateral meeting with the current chairperson of the African Union, Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and NEPAD chairperson, the president of Senegal Macky Sall.

“This discussion made it possible for these leaders to consolidate Africa's position around the summit's agenda. President Ramaphosa was also invited to participate in the China-Africa (South Africa, Egypt, Senegal and with the participation of the United Nations Secretary-General) Leaders Meeting. The meeting exchanged views on the priorities for G20, FOCAC and Africa's development agenda.”

The president also participated in the standing informal BRICS Leaders’ Meeting that was chaired by Brazil. The Presidency said the leaders reflected on the current geopolitical environment and sought collaboration and synergies among member countries in preparation for the G20 Leaders’ Summit.

“The President concluded his Osaka programme by engaging with business during the Japan-South Africa CEO Business Roundtable. The engagement was chaired by Minister Ebrahim Patel of Trade and Industry and included more than 20 Japanese business representatives and a South African business contingent.

“The event offered a unique platform to explore business opportunities and build partnerships in South Africa and Japan. President Ramaphosa described the working visit as a success and congratulated Japan on hosting a well-organised Summit.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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