Good afternoon, distinguished representatives from media, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to this press briefing and thank you for being here today. We have just finalized our work as Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors together with International Organizations. We have agreed on a communiqué which will be distributed to you towards the end of this press conference.
As you all know, the 3rd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting under the Turkish G20 Presidency was completed half an hour ago and it has been a great pleasure and honor for us to host the G20 Ministers and Governors, senior representatives of the international organizations and their delegations in Ankara for this important gathering. I would like to thank all my colleagues that have contributed to very effective, productive realization of this meeting. The Undersecretary of Treasury and all the staff that contributed to the logistics, I thank them all. This has been a great meeting in terms of logistics as well as content. We had very lively discussions, very good participation actually and now we are at the end of the meetings and I believe that these meetings were very successful in terms of preparing us for our Leaders’ Summit in November. Now I would like to briefly touch upon the meeting agenda.
Since the last meeting of G20 Ministers and Governors, our technical teams with the support of international organizations worked hard to advance to G20 agenda and make progress towards the Antalya Summit. Yesterday and today, we took stock of the progress achieved on the finance track agenda and discussed steps needed to ensure that G20 is on track to deliver the intended outcomes of the Antalya Summit.
During this meeting, G20 Ministers and Governors exchanged views on the recent global economic developments and challenges, and collective measures to address them. We also reviewed the progress in monitoring and adjustment of G20 growth strategies and evaluated the way forward for G20 investments strategies. We also focused on the international financial architecture issues, financial regulation, international tax agenda and climate finance issues.
On the margins of this gathering, we also met with B20 representatives at a working dinner. It was a fruitful exchange of views and opportunity to hear B20’s perspectives on the G20 agenda and their recommendations to us. Turkish Presidency has indeed given great importance to these engagement groups and they contribute a lot towards the Summit.
Yesterday afternoon, we also brought G20 Finance Ministers and Labor Ministers together in a joint meeting. This meeting enabled G20 Finance and Labor Ministers to discuss growth and employment nexus, strategies to deliver more and better jobs, and policies to reduce inequalities to support inclusive growth. That meeting was also very successful for actually developing a broader and integrated approach to the issues of growth and employment. We also had a chance to listen to B20 and L20 perspectives at the beginning of that part of our work.
We are having a successful term with most of our goals being internalized by the membership. I must say that we are heartened by the strong ownership of the membership on our priorities and as the Antalya Summit is approaching, we are glad to see that we have made significant progress yesterday and today regarding the priorities we declared at the beginning of the year.
At that junction, I also want to thank Deputy Prime Minister Babacan and his team before going into the details of the meetings. Actually, former Deputy Prime Minister Babacan was chairing the G20 Meetings at the Ministerial level and I would like to take this moment to express my appreciation for the great work that he has done. Under his leadership, there was a strong foundation and we have built upon this foundation to successfully complete our meetings.
Dear media representatives, Dear participants,
Now let me touch upon the global economic background we have been facing and the timing of this G20 Ministers and Governors Meeting coincided with an interesting and challenging time. Despite some positive developments, challenges to the global economic outlook persist. The volatility in the financial markets we have been observing lately is an indicator of those challenges. The weak and uneven recovery of the world economy continues and growth in emerging and developing countries is slowing down. In many economies policy accommodation has continued but structural reforms are lagging. Overall, the growth falls short of our expectations and we are aware of the risks and challenges ahead of us. In an environment where risk and uncertainties concerning the future of the global economy still persist, the world needs better preparation of key players and more effective decision-making. We agreed that considering the ongoing difficulties in the global economy, we need to act decisively and employ an appropriate policy mix, including not only macro policies but also structural reforms. Hence, the growth strategies that include macroeconomic and structural policies to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth should be at the center of our efforts.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me turn to the agenda of our gathering. For this year’s G20 agenda, Turkish Presidency has focused on continuing previous commitments as well as introducing some new elements. We have determined our motto for this year as “collective action for inclusive and robust growth” and in line with this, our priorities for 2015 were presented as three “I”s. They mean “Implementation”, “Investment” and “Inclusiveness”. This strategy had some cross-cutting themes, such as the emphasis on low-income developing countries, inequalities and SMEs (Small and Medium sized Enterprises).
This year we have made notable progress under the G20 agenda. Now let me briefly inform you regarding the outcomes of our meeting. Regarding our growth strategies, as you know we have designed a robust monitoring mechanism with detailed implementation schedules for our commitments. Current indications show that the implementation of our commitments is progressing, yet we also acknowledged that more needs to be done to meet our collective growth ambition by 2018. Hence we agreed to accelerate our efforts to implement our commitments. We also agreed to continue revising our strategies to keep them relevant with our ambition.
As we are all aware, this year we have put a strong emphasis on investment. We declared it as one of the three pillars of this year’s G20 agenda. Today, we underline once again the importance of investment as in important driver of growth. We affirmed our commitment to boost not only the amount but also the quality of investments in our respective countries. Since the beginning of the year, we devoted a special effort to develop a comprehensive set of policy actions addressing impediments on public and private investment.
As committed in our April meeting, the G20 members have prepared country specific investment strategies that present concrete actions in order to improve the investment ecosystem, foster infrastructure and support financing opportunities for SMEs. Our investment strategies have been welcomed by the Ministers and Governors today. In the remaining time till the Antalya Summit, we will do further assessments of these strategies.
Encouraging public private partnerships (PPP) in infrastructure was one of our priorities under the investment agenda. Today, we welcomed the World Bank’s PPP guidelines, which address the commonly-encountered challenges of PPP models. In this study, we focused on the planning, selection and preparation process of PPP project decision cycles. Moreover, we also underlined the need for greater transparency and public awareness of PPP initiatives.
As a cross-cutting issue of the priorities of the G20 in 2015, we discussed the financing for SMEs. In order to facilitate financial intermediation for SMEs, our priority actions will focus on improving systems for credit reporting, lending against movable collateral and insolvency reforms. Moreover, as you would all recall, in support of our SME agenda, we officially launched the World SME Forum in May in Istanbul as a new initiative to serve as a global body. This is again one of the priorities of Turkish Presidency. The World SME Forum has been welcomed by our Ministers today. This new initiative will help to drive the contributions of SMEs to growth and employment.
Another important item of today’s agenda was the asset-based financing and further integration of Islamic Finance into the global financial system. Islamic Finance, with its emphasis on risk sharing and asset-based nature has a great potential to bring new funds for investments. In this regard, the IMF and World Bank Group have prepared a note presenting policy recommendations at the national and international levels to build an enabling environment and to better integrate Islamic finance into the global system.
Regarding financial regulation, we have reviewed the progress of the works for finalizing the key aspects of core financial regulation issues and we are glad to see that our Leaders will be able to announce the delivery of a comprehensive package of financial regulations by the Antalya Summit. This package will include the common international standard on total loss absorbing capacity for global systemically important banks, which is critical for the resolution of these banks. Today we have also underlined the role of monitoring the effects of our regulations in designing a healthy and more stable global financial market.
The final and the most important or heartbreaking issue of today was the terrorism. As G20 Ministers, we have once again showed our determination to fight against terrorism by taking measures and setting a regulatory environment that prevents these kinds of financial flows.
On international tax issues, we have reviewed the progress of the BEPS project and we are glad to observe the OECD is close to finish and will deliver the entire package before our next meeting in October. We, as the G20 Ministers, have assigned a new task to OECD and expect the submission of a framework by early 2016 with the involvement of interested non-G20 countries and jurisdictions, particularly developing countries, on an equal footing, for the implementation of the deliverables of the project. We have also reaffirmed our determination to strengthen the transparency of our tax systems.
As you know, we also have a number of work streams under our third priority, Inclusiveness. We met with our Labor Ministers yesterday. With that meeting, we aimed to ensure an effective dialogue within the G20 platform. We discussed the ways to achieve job-rich economic growth by strengthening the employment-growth linkage and the new strategies to tackle inequalities among G20 societies. Following the meeting, Labor Minister Ahmet Erdem and I held a press conference yesterday. At the end of the meeting, we released a Chair’s Statement which summarizes the discussions of the joint meeting. You can find the details of our discussions in that document on our website.
Colleagues, representatives of the media,
It has been more than 9 months since we took over the Presidency of the G20. We have literally completed two thirds of our term and we are approaching the end of a year-long marathon. We, as the Turkish Presidency, see our road this year as a unique opportunity and challenge. I would like to assure you that Turkey will continue to show every effort to reach tangible results on the remaining issues during the rest of our term. We are determined to steer the platform to bring a meaningful difference to global prospects. This determination is adamant in Turkey, shared by a wide spectrum of politicians and officials and it is not subject to change in the face of recent political developments. Despite recent cabinet shuffling, our G20 priorities remain intact and we will maintain our resolve to achieve targeted objectives in Antalya Summit.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Two and a half months from now, G20 Leaders will gather in Antalya on the occasion of the Leaders’ Summit. I think this meeting served as an important stepping stone towards our Leaders’ gathering. Before Antalya Summit, taking the opportunity of IMF – World Bank Annual Meetings in Lima, G20 Ministers and Governors will have a working dinner in the evening of October 8th to make final touches on the G20 Finance Track agenda and discuss Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project (BEPS) agenda. We will not be issuing a communique after the conclusion of this specific gathering.