G20 leaders pledge further actions to boost economic recovery

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The Group of 20 (G20) leaders called for more collective actions in Antalya of Turkey on Monday to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth that can benefit all.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders attending the 10th summit of the Group of Twenty (G20) major economies pose for photos in Antalya, Turkey, Nov. 15, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders attending the 10th summit of the Group of Twenty (G20) major economies pose for photos in Antalya, Turkey, Nov. 15, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

In the communique issued at the end of the summit, the leaders have agreed that not only they have to do more to spur growth, but to make sure that the growth is inclusive and delivers more and better jobs.

Strenthening recovery

The G20 members said the global economic growth, hampered by weak demand and structural problems, remains "uneven" and falls short of expectations.

They pledged to remain committed to achieving the goal of lifting the collective gross domestic product (GDP) of the G20 economies by an additional two percent by 2018, an agreement reached in the 2014 summit in Australia's Brisbane.

To do that, the leaders said G20 member economies will continue to monitor the implementation of the commitments and adjust their strategies in accordance with economic conditions. The summit came at a time when the world has been struggling to materialize a strong, sustainable and balanced growth, with weak trade and falling investment. Some even suggested that a recession is imminent.

Early in November, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) trimmed its forecast for global economic growth in 2015 to 2.9 percent and 3.3 percent in 2016, down from the previous predictions of 3.0 percent and 3.6 percent. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also made similar pessimist projections recently.

Reforms of global governance

The leaders said the World Trade Organization (WTO) is the backbone of the multilateral trading system and should continue to play a "central" role to promote economic growth and development.

"We will continue our efforts to ensure that our bilateral, regional and plurilateral trade agreements complement one another, are transparent and inclusive... and contribute to a stronger multilateral trade system under WTO rules," they said.

The long-stalled Doha round of trade talks has prompted many countries to engage with each other either through bilateral or regional trade arrangements. Analysts believe that such a trend is not good news for promoting global trade.

Tristram Sainsbury, research fellow of G20 studies center at Lowy Institute for International Policy, said both bilateral and regional trade deals could lead to trade diversion rather than trade creation, adding that the world should focus on the multilateral basis.

To reform the international tax system, the leaders endorsed the measures under the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project, and urged wide and consistent implementation.

The BEPS rules are designed to attack tax avoidance, improve transparency, close loopholes and restrict the use of tax havens.

According to the OECD, once the project is implemented, companies, especially multinationals, will find it harder to concentrate their profits in low-tax countries and tax havens, a shift that promises to raise up to 250 billion U.S. dollars a year in extra tax revenue.

On IMF reforms, the leaders said they are "deeply disappointed" with the continued delay in carrying out the 2010 quota reforms, and urged the United States to ratify these reforms as soon as possible.

Additionally, the leaders also reaffirmed that the they will remain committed to boosting job creation, investment, and promoting cooperation on eradicating poverty, combating corruption, and improving energy efficiency.

Climate change

Climate change was also a key item on the G20 summit agenda, as preparations pick up for a key international conference on the issue scheduled to start later this month in Paris.

"We recognize that 2015 is a critical year that requires effective, strong and collective action on climate change and its effects," the leaders said. "We affirm our determination to adopt a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the UNFCCC that is applicable to all parties.

UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"We affirm that the Paris agreement should be fair, balanced, ambitious, durable and dynamic," the communique said, stressing the commitment to reaching an ambitious agreement in Paris that reflects the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities."

The leaders said that they will instruct their negotiators to "engage constructively and flexibly" in the coming days to discuss key issues, such as mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer and transparency.

Fight against terror

The leaders also discussed the fight against terrorism and the refugee crisis.

On the eve of the summit, a wave of terrorist attacks rocked the French capital of Paris, killing 129 people and injuring many more. The Islamic State (IS) militant group has claimed responsibility.

Turkey, the host, has also been subject to terror attacks, the biggest being twin suicide bombings that hit a peace rally in Ankara and killed a total of 102 people on Oct. 10.

In a separate statement, the G20 leaders condemned the "heinous" attacks in Paris and in Ankara, and reaffirmed that "terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group."

"We remain united in combating terrorism," the statement said. "The spread of terrorist organizations and significant rise globally in acts of terrorism directly undermine the maintenance of international peace and security and endangers our ongoing efforts to strengthen the global economy and ensure sustainable growth and development."

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