The 2018 G20 Summit just recently ended, with the delegates coming into several agreements, giving special focus on trade wars, climate change, conflicts in some areas such as Ukraine and a possible revamp of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The international forum convenes annually and for 2018, it was held from November 30 to December 1 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the first time for South America to host the annual summit.
What is the G20?
G20 stands for the Group of Twenty. It is a meeting of members composed of government representatives and governors of the central banks of 19 countries and the EU (European Union).
The G20 was formed on September 26, 1999, with the objective of gathering important developing and industrialized economies systematically in order to discuss specific issues that affect the global economy.
It was established during the meeting of the G7 Finance Ministers in Cologne. The inaugural meeting was held on December 15 to 16, 1999 in Berlin, with Hans Eichel, the German Finance Minister as host. The first chairman was Paul Martin, the Canadian Finance Minister. It was Martin who proposed that the G20 summit should involve the head of states instead of the finance ministers.
The G20 was established to respond to the debt crises in several emerging markets during the 1990s, such as the Mexican peso crisis, the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the Russian financial crisis in 1998.
The primary concern of the G20 Summit is the global economy's governance. The theme each year varies depending on the most pressing issues.
The members of the G20 do not represent the countries with the richest and most robust economies. But together, they represent about 79% of world trade, around 50% of the land area of the world, about 65% of the population worldwide, and 84% of the world's economy. Interestingly, the G20 member countries also represent 79% of the carbon emission in the world (based on the 2016 data from the World Economic Forum website).
The 2018 Buenos Aires Summit
This year, the international forum brought together the heads of the governments (or their representatives) and the President of the European Union:
- Argentina (President Mauricio Macri)
- Australia (Prime Minister Scott Morrison)
- Brazil (President Michel Temer)
- Canada (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau)
- China (President Xi Jinping)
- France (President Emmanuel Macron)
- Germany (Chancellor Angela Merkel)
- India (Prime Minister Narendra Modi)
- Indonesia (Vice President Jusuf Kalla)
- Italy (Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte)
- Japan (Prime Minister Shinzō Abe)
- Mexico (President Enrique Peña Nieto)
- Russia ()President Vladimir Putin)
- Saudi Arabia (Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman)
- South Africa (President Cyril Ramaphosa)
- South Korea (President Moon Jae-in)
- Turkey (President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan)
- United Kingdom (Prime Minister Theresa May)
- United States (President Donald Trump)
- European Union (President of the European Council Donald Tusk
In this year's forum, representatives were also invited to be participating guests, such as:
- President Sebastián Piñera of Chile
- Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica
- Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands
- President Paul Kagame of Rwanda
- President Macky Sall of Senegal
- Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore
- Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain
The G20 also has a list of permanent invitees from different counties and organizations, namely:
- African Union (represented by the President of Rwanda)
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) (represented by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea)
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (represented by the Prime Minister of Singapore and/or Secretary-General of ASEAN)
- Financial Stability Board (FSB) (represented by its Chairperson)
- International Labor Organization (ILO) (represented by the Director General)
- International Monetary Fund (IMF) (represented by the Managing Director)
- Spain (represented by the Prime Minister)
- New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) (represented by the President of Senegal)
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (represented by the Secretary-General)
- United Nations (UN) (represented by the Secretary-General)
- World Bank Group (WBG) (represented by the President)
- World Trade Organization (WTO) (represented by the Director General)
Key developments of the 2018 G20 Summit
The summit in Buenos Aires has three priorities in its agenda. These are sustainable future of food, infrastructure for development and work's future. Gender equality was added to the priorities of the summit. Aside from these three, other topics were included in the agenda. Some of these are the regulation of crypto-currencies that was put forth by several of the countries that attended the 2018 G20 Summit, while the central issue was finding a solution to the escalating trade war between China and the United States.
This year is the 10th year of the international summit created to improve the coordination of the financial and economic policies since the 2008 global crisis. The G20 Summit is likewise an opportunity to establish a convincing trade agenda. The summit is also the platform to confirm once again the political support of the member nations towards reforming the World Trade Organization. They believe that the reform will make the organization more functional and efficient.
1. WTO reform
The leaders have declared that the WTO is failing to reach its objectives. They do not see any room for the organization to improve at its present setup, which is why they approved the reform. They declared that they would be monitoring the progress of the organization's reformation during the summit in June next year in Osaka, Japan.
2. Trade war between the U.S. and China
The leaders of the two nations, President Trump and President Xi, agreed to a truce in their ongoing trade war. The truce will last for 90 days. The U.S. president will hold off the tariff increase slated for January 1, 2019, on the US$200 billion worth of goods from China. The Chinese president, on the other hand, agreed to buy (no exact amount mentioned) a large amount of industrial, energy, agricultural products and more from the U.S. to cut back the country's trade deficit with China.
3. Conflict in Ukraine
Leaders from the West faced up to President Putin over his country's seizure of the naval vessels and crewmembers from Ukraine. Diplomatic pressure between the two countries did not work as each side accuses each other of being the standoff's cause.
The U.S. President said that the action of Russia against Ukraine was the reason for the cancellation of his planned meeting with the Russian president. Donald Tusk also criticized President Putin, calling his actions aggressive. For his part, President Putin tried to justify his country's actions to President Trump and Mr. Tusk, even drawing a map to show where the disputed area belongs.
4. Climate change
The last communique stated that 19 members renewed their commitment to the climate accord they signed in Paris. Only President Trump withdrew from the pact. The leaders of the 2018 G20 Summit once again declared that they are committed to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement. The declaration was wholeheartedly welcomed by environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace.
A revised trade pact for North America was signed by President Trump after negotiations that lasted for two years. The new pact will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the trilateral trade group comprising the United States, Mexico and Canada. President Trump called NAFTA a disaster and said that he plans to have it terminated, which will force the U.S. Congress either to forget about a trade agreement or go with the new accord. However, the implementation of the new trade agreement will only take effect once it is approved by the legislative bodies of the three countries.
6. Other issues
Other issues discussed included sustainable development goals, the 2030 agenda, the effects of the digitalization of the international tax system to the economy and global terrorism.
Some leaders called out Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman regarding the still unresolved killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
What reports say
According to reports, the world leaders did not expect too much from the Summit. Likewise, they did not exert too much effort. Analysts said that the final communique was a weak statement that went around some issues such as trade. This issue is considered a global priority to improve growth in economies and jobs.
Contact us for your translation and interpreting needs in international forums and meetings
In meetings like the G20 Summit where foreign delegates gather, the importance of translators and interpreters comes into focus. To facilitate understanding, agendas, speeches and other data are translated into the native language of each of the delegate. Interpreters play a big role as well so everyone can understand what the speaker is saying. Experienced language services providers are hired for such occasions. Day Translations, Inc. is a professional translation company that works with thousands of experienced native speaking translators and interpreters, and a lot of them are experts in simultaneous interpreting. They are located around the world to serve the language services needs of clients worldwide. We are open 24/7, all days of the year to serve you whenever you need translation and interpreting services. Call us at 1-800-969-6853 or send us an email at Contact us at your convenience.