As the G20 heads into the Buenos Aires Summit, it is timely to reflect on the achievements of Argentina’s G20 presidency in the finance track.
The role of the G20 is more important than ever. Ten years after the global financial crisis, it is pleasing to see that global growth is robust and unemployment is at a decade low. Risks, however, still exist and heightened trade tensions, financial vulnerabilities, geopolitical risks and inequality are placing pressure on governments around the world. Moreover, rapid changes brought by technological change are giving rise to opportunities and also challenges. The G20 plays a key role in bringing together all members to discuss these pressing international issues. The objective of our presidency has been to steer discussions in order to reach common ground among members’ different perspectives and positions. This approach reflects our theme of “building consensus for fair and sustainable development’.
In the finance track, we have been keen to pursue a forward-looking agenda that is people-centred and recognises the current state of the global economy. We have placed our efforts on tangible actions that support global growth, and reinforce the preparedness of members to deal with current global events and capitalise on the trends taking place. We therefore chose to focus on two key priorities: the future of work and infrastructure for development.
We have also continued working in the areas of international taxation, financial regulation, international financial architecture, financial inclusion and sustainable finance.
The future of work
The extraordinary advances in technology are reshaping the global economy. These advances provide an opportunity to boost economic growth and improve living standards. Yet the transition can produce a range of challenges.
Our focus on the future of work is designed to build an understanding of the current and potential impacts of technological advancements on productivity, growth, jobs and inequality, and to explore possible policy responses. Our ambition was to take this discussion to the global stage because those impacts are not necessarily inevitable and policymakers can shape the outcomes. By taking this forward-looking, strategic approach we can promote inclusion and ensure we are well prepared to reap the benefits of the transformational trends. This year, we developed the G20 Menu of Policy Options for the Future of Work, which highlights key policy actions countries could consider to harness technology to strengthen growth and productivity, support people during transitions and address distributional challenges, secure sustainable tax systems and ensure that the best possible evidence informs our decision making.
infrastructure for development
Infrastructure investment is critical to lifting productivity and growth and supporting the connectivity of our citizens. There has been considerable focus on infrastructure financing, but many countries have suffered declining infrastructure investment since the global financial crisis. Large infrastructure financing gaps persist, yet the pool of private savings in search of yield is unprecedented.
Argentina’s presidency therefore focuses on mechanisms to catalyse private-sector investment into infrastructure by creating the environment for infrastructure to further develop as an asset class. To achieve this, a multi-year roadmap puts forward key actions to increase the number of bankable projects, promote standardisation and improve the investment environment. We have already started advancing this work: we delivered principles for the infrastructure project preparation phase, and made progress on key areas such as financial engineering, risk allocation and mitigation, data availability, and contractual and financial standardisation.
We have also continued to discuss the outlook for the global economy and how we can further support global growth. We have considered financial sector developments such as the emergence of crypto-assets, and their potential benefits and risks. Discussions have also continued on taxation of the digital economy. We have continued efforts to strengthen the resilience of the international financial architecture. We have also made progress in the areas of financial inclusion and sustainable finance.
It has been a privilege for Argentina to hold the G20 presidency this year. It has been an opportunity to pursue an ambitious international engagement strategy. We want to build mature and pragmatic relations with the countries in our region, the key regional blocs and global economic institutions. Our presidency has been an excellent way to demonstrate Argentina’s commitment to international cooperation, multilateralism and global governance. The summit will be the culmination of this journey that we began almost one year ago.
Towards the summit
We strongly believe that although G20 members all face different challenges and motivations, what binds us is the need to address global issues through a cooperative and consensus-based approach. Individually we cannot do this and outcomes would likely be suboptimal. International cooperation on common issues can increase the effectiveness of members’ individual policy efforts. At the summit in Buenos Aires, our intention is to build constructive discussions, bridge our differences and ensure we make progress on the issues that affect the lives of our citizens.
We are also very conscious that our efforts do not stop there. We very much look forward to continue working hand in hand with every member of the G20 and the presidencies in the years to come.