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In June, at the third G20 Sherpa meeting held in the city of Xiamen, China, representatives of the world’s twenty leading economies unanimously approved the Argentine presidency of the Group for the year 2018. This outstanding recognition, which will be officially announced by the leaders at the next G20 Summit, is a cause for pride for Argentina and encourages the country to continue working actively with each of the members of the Group in the search for concrete solutions to the challenges posed by the global agenda.
Argentina attaches great importance to the G20, which it considers the main forum for international economic and financial coordination and which has become increasingly important in dealing with various policy issues with global impact. Argentina also deems it a suitable forum for the promotion of initiatives in accordance with the interests of the country. G20 members represent 85% of the Gross World Product, two thirds of the global population and 80% of international trade. Thus, the G20 is in an exceptional position to face global challenges through more effective policy cooperation and the promotion of concrete actions that have an impact on its Member Countries and on the other international stakeholders. To its decision-making capacity, which was tried and tested during the 2008 economic and financial crisis, the G20 adds its effective leadership and the adoption and subsequent implementation of decisions on matters of global importance.
The leaders gathered at the G20 Summit discuss and adopt decisions aimed at strengthening the global economy, improving financial regulation and promoting concrete actions regarding the most urgent issues on the global agenda. Internally, the G20 is made up of working groups that discuss and coordinate policies and actions in relation to a wide array of issues, including, for example, the working group on Energy Sustainability and its work on the promotion of renewable energies; the working group on Development, which main goal is the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and finally, the working group on Employment, which has promoted measures relating to labour market insertion and the improvement of the well-being of the population.
The promotion of transparency and the fight against corruption are also part of the agenda of the G20 with a specific working group in charge of organizing its work on the basis of a biannual action plan. Various initiatives having a clear impact on the matter have been promoted, such as measures aimed at achieving transparency by making it increasingly harder for the proceeds of corruption to be concealed and for the perpetrators of those offences, to find shelter.
The G20 also deals with trade as a driving force of the global economy, working to strengthening the multilateral trade system with the World Trade Organization (WT). Likewise, it works on the relation and complementarity of Regional Trade Agreements with the WTO system, the increase in global trade, and the integration of SMEs and lower-income countries into global value chains.
Finally, with respect to agriculture, an area that is especially sensitive for Argentina’s interests, the G20 has endeavoured throughout the years to promote a more prominent role for the sector on the global agenda. The achievement of more efficient production is encouraged in order to reduce hunger in the world, combating poverty and generating quality employment within the sector. For Argentina, in terms of agriculture, the G20 is an ideal forum to showcase its productive potential with a view to its insertion into international markets.
In light of the importance of the G20 in the international system and of its ability to promote measures that produce substantive changes at a global level, the presidency to be held by Argentina in 2018 is one of the key political and diplomatic challenges in the country’s recent history.