Chancellor Angela Merkel is satisfied with the outcome of the G20 summit. In the field of trade, she reported at the close of the summit in Hamburg on July 8, agreement was reached that markets must be kept open. The major industrialised states and emerging economies also agreed to fight protectionism and unfair trade restrictions.
At the start of her final press conference Chancellor Angela Merkel explained what her job had been during the summit. She had clearly voiced German and European interests and, in her capacity as host, had pressed all sides to embrace compromise. “That was the spirit in which we worked here. And that is reflected in the Leaders’ Declaration.” In this context Angela Merkel again pointed to the motto of Germany’s G20 Presidency “Shaping an interconnected world”.
Keeping markets open around the world
During the global economic and financial crisis some ten years ago, the G20 demonstrated its strength, when it played a crucially important part in stabilising national economies and financial markets. “What was true back then is still true today: we can achieve more if we act together than we could alone,” reaffirmed the Chancellor. “Markets must be kept open,” she continued.
International trade based on clear rules
Angela Merkel reported that there had been extremely intensive discussions on trade, but summit participants agreed to fight protectionism and unfair trade practices. The rules-based international trading system, as embodied by the World Trade Organization (WTO), plays a vital role in this. Bilateral agreements too must always be WTO-compliant, warned the Chancellor.
Resilient financial system
Angela Merkel cited another focus of the Leaders’ Declaration as the aim to ensure stability in the international financial system. She pointed to the Hamburg Action Plan which was also adopted at the summit. The Leaders’ Declaration stipulates, “We will promote greater inclusiveness, fairness and equality in our pursuit of economic growth and job creation. To these ends, we endorse the Hamburg Action Plan.”
Better equipped to deal with pandemics
The Chancellor went on to look at the problem of pandemics, which could jeopardise economic stability as a whole. For this reason the G20 participants discussed at length the role of the World Health Organization (WHO). During Germany’s G20 Presidency, all G20 health ministers met for the first time. The WHO Director-General also attended, underlined Angela Merkel. The G20 is “now better equipped” to deal with a pandemic, said the Chancellor.
Enabling women to participate more fully
Women’s empowerment also played a central part at the summit, according to the Chancellor. She mentioned the initiative “#eSkills4Girls”. In developing countries in particular, it is to “to promote opportunities and equal participation for women and girls in the digital economy” as the Leaders’ Declaration says.
Accepting responsibility for Africa
The motto of the new G20 Africa Partnership, another focus of the summit, presented by the Chancellor is “Accepting responsibility”. “We launch the G20 Africa Partnership in recognition of the opportunities and challenges in African countries as well as the goals of the 2030 Agenda,” reads the Leaders’ Declaration. In this context, Angela Merkel declared that education is a “central factor” and “the key to sustainable growth” on Europe’s neighbouring continent.
Climate policy – no attempt to conceal dissent
With a view to the fields of climate and energy, discussed at the summit, the Chancellor said, “Where no consensus can be achieved, the declaration must reflect dissent.” She regretted the announcement of the USA that it would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. But, she was delighted that all other G20 members agreed that the Paris Agreement is irreversible, said Angela Merkel. The Agreement must now be implemented as swiftly as possible.
Chancellor condemns violence “in the strongest possible terms”
The Chancellor condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the “unfettered violence and unrestrained brutality” seen during the riots that accompanied the summit in Hamburg. She stated clearly, “Those who act in this way are not interested in voicing political criticism or in demanding a better life for the people of this world.” Anyone acting in this way sidelines themselves from the democratic community.
Thanks to all security forces
At the same time Angela Merkel voiced her express thanks to all security forces and to all those who worked hard to prepare for the summit. She stressed that the thanks came not only from her, but also from all other G20 leaders. Angela Merkel reported that she had spoken with the head of the police operations in Hamburg and thanked him personally. She would also be attending a meeting with Hamburg’s First Mayor Olaf Scholz, she said, to thank the security forces for their work.
Help for victims of the violence
The Chancellor pointed out that she had already spoken with the German Finance Minister, and that ways will now be explored with the City of Hamburg to help the victims of violence deal with the damage sustained. Talks between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the City of Hamburg on this are to begin without delay, Angela Merkel announced.