Cdn Primer to the G20 Summit in Germany

COLIN ROBERTSON  –  Jul 7, 2017

07 Jul 2017

The leaders of the major economic nations, their finance ministers and central bankers meet in Germany’s northern port city of Hamburg, birthplace of their host, Chancellor Angela Merkel. It’s their twelfth summit to discuss global economic and financial issues.

Despite a strengthening world economy, the meeting will be full of tension. The economic club will be forced to discuss international security and geopolitics. With a long-anticipated side meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin in the offing, there's a guarantee that the G20 will take centre stage this week.

In a new release from the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, Vice-President and Fellow Colin Robertson provides the historical and political background to the G20, and why the meetings – and this one in particular – are so important to world affairs and our own economy.

The German hosts have identified three priorities to be covered:

  • How can we cooperate better in the future for the sake of our citizens?
  • What fears and challenges are associated with globalization, and what can we do to address these?
  • How can we safeguard inclusiveness and ensure that the fruits of prosperity and growth are distributed fairly?

Robertson also warns for people to not expect a lot of tangible outcomes from the meeting. He predicts a statement addressing inequality in general, and a French/German agreement on climate action, in response to President Trump's pulling out of the Paris Accords. That being said, Robertson says, the biggest news will be from bilateral interactions, largely between President Trump and his Russian and Chinese counterparts.

Canadian Interests
According to his office, Mr. Trudeau will stress the need to focus on economic growth that benefits everyone and reiterate Canada’s commitment to working with partners to develop a coordinated global response to terrorism while safeguarding human rights. Specifically, Prime Minister Trudeau will push heavily on his European counterparts to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the United States with Asian and South American leaders. The Prime Minister will also likely take the opportunity to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on the upcoming NAFTA re-negotiations.

Why the G20?
Despite the perceived lack of action coming from the G20 meetings historically, Robertson argues that it is still an important international institution. "At a time when globalization, the maintenance of a liberal international order, and multilateral cooperation are under question, the G20 is an important forum to discuss, and hopefully advance, common global interests."

Download the pdf from here: