The conference closed a series of events opening Russia's G20 presidency held in Moscow on December 11-12, including a Think 20 Meeting, the first G20 Sherpas' Meeting, a Civil 20 Meeting and a Business 20 Meeting.
In her opening speech, Russia's G20 Sherpa Ksenia Yudaeva said that the title of the conference - "Fostering Economic Growth and Sustainability" - fully reflects the tasks set before the G20 from the moment of its inception. "The main goal of the Russian presidency is to ensure and support sustainable, steady and balanced growth and job creation throughout the world," Ms.Yudaeva said.
The Russian Sherpa has officially announced the three priorities of the Russian presidency:
• Growth through quality jobs and invetsment;
• Growth through trust and transparency;
• Growth through effective regulation.
In addition, Ms. Yudaeva stressed that during the year of its presidency, Russia plans to work closely with outreach groups, namely, civil society, business, trade unions, expert and youth communities and international organizations, as well as non-member invitees. "We strongly believe that consultations with outreach groups should play an important role in creating the G20 bank of ideas and improving global governance institutions," the Sherpa said.
The innovative aspects of the Russian presidency, Ksenia Yudaeva said, will include joint meetings of labour and finance ministers, which will add value to discussions on the creation of quality jobs and the protection of vulnerable social groups.
Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak described the main tasks of the Russian presidency on the financial track. The goal of the G20 is to bridge the gap between the level of development of financial institutions and financial markets and their real regulatory authority. The G20 financial priorities include investment financing, lending strategies and debt management, Mr. Storchak said.
"We will try to bring the G20 agenda back to its roots, i.e. macroeconomics and financial markets. Thus, we will set the stage for creating new jobs and the economic recovery," Sergei Storchak said.
According to Vadim Lukov, Ambassador at Large, the G20 Coordinator of the Russian Foreign Ministry and Ambassador for the G20 Outreach, Russia focuses on promoting the external relations of the G20 members. Mr.Lukov noted that "if the G20 wants its decisions to be successfully implemented, in addition to the political will of its members, it needs other countries, leading regional and international organizations, the business community, trade unions, the academic community and civil society to see its decisions as legitimate ones. Our forum earns this kind of credibility by way of personal example."
Chairman of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia and Labour 20 Program Coordinator Mikhail Shmakov addressed the conference on behalf of the trade union movement. He stressed that the Labour 20 Group expresses the position of international trade unions, not just trade unions of the G20 members, and spoke in support of Russia's initiative to hold a joint meeting of finance and labour ministers. According to Mr. Shmakov, "trade unions are ready to share several specific measures with the G20 to ensure employment and growth."
Rector of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration and Co-Chairman of the Think 20 Meeting Vladimir Mau spoke about the key findings and recommendations of the meeting of world's leading research centers held on December 11. The agenda included issues that are closely related to the priorities of Russia's presidency, such as Enhancing Economic Growth: Issues of Macroeconomics and Fiscal Sustainability; Trade and Foreign Direct Investment: Growth and Recovery Tools to Add Momentum to Economic Convergence; and Sustainable Development: Finding Reliable Sources to Achieve Common Goals of Global Growth. Vladimir Mau outlined the ideas expressed by panel experts and concluded that the main outcome of the Think 20 Meeting included a clear and comprehensive view of the challenges of the modern world, an advancement of innovative and competitive ideas with regard to increasing the capacity to promote economic growth, further cooperation with governments over monitoring the current economic environment and the extent to which the G20 governments comply with their commitments.
Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and Coordinator of the Business 20 (www.b20russia.com) noted that the B20 is scheduled to meet on five occasions during the year of the Russian presidency. A coalition which already includes 15 leading business associations from G20 member countries was created this year in order to institutionalize the B20 in such a manner that the leading business association of the host country is responsible for putting together the agenda, the priorities and all issues of coordination within the G20. This mandate has been delegated to the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs for the term of the Russian presidency. Alexander Shokhin also presented seven task forces that will work in this year's B20 process - Trade, Investment and Infrastructure; Financial Markets; Labour Markets and Employment; Global Priorities in Innovation-Driven Development; Transparency and Fighting Corruption; and Effective Dialogue between Business and Authorities - and their leaders.
Unfortunately, Alyona Pyoryshkina, the Civil 20 leader, could not personally present the results of the 140-strong global civil society team's work due to health reasons. However, she will soon resume her responsibilities for the coordination of the Civil 20's effort to draft civil society proposals as a contribution for of Russia's G20 presidency. A full report of the three days of the Civil Track's work is available at www.g20civil.com. Marina Larionova, Director of the Institute of International Organizations and International Cooperation of the Higher School of Economics and co-chair of the working group for the Civil 20 in Russia, described the input of the academic community into the Civil20's work, especially into the preparation of a joint report on the fulfillment of the G20 commitments, which was presented and discussed at the G20 Sherpas Meeting. She also named the three areas of the Civil 20 activities during the year of the Russian presidency. They include preparing proposals for the G20 working groups, compiling a report and recommendations of the Civil 20 expert group for the Sherpas and working groups (particularly groups for sustainable, balanced and strong growth and development) and an analysis of the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken in Los Cabos during the Mexican presidency. Ms. Larionova also mentioned that there will be working groups on the following issues as part of the Civil 20 activities: Environmentally Sustainable Development and Energy, Food Security, The Millennium Development Goals after 2015, Combating Corruption, Issues of Financial Inclusion and Financial Education, and Labor and Employment.
Yelena Bocherova, deputy head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs and Coordinator of Y20 (www.y20russia.ru), and Roman Chukov, head of the Y20 Secretariat in Russia in 2013, President of J8 Club Russia Council, Cooordinator of Global Shapers Hub in St.Petersburg, reported that the Y20 Russia 2013 Summit will take place in June 2013 and will bring together 125 young, proactive and capable participants from the G20 members. By interacting with international experts, engaging in discussions, sharing experiences and best practices used in their respective countries, the participants will be able to shape a common vision on approaches to global problems and document this in a final communiqué, which will be later presented to the G20 leaders.
* * *
Transcript of the speeches of Russian G20 Sherpa Ksenia Yudaeva and Deputy Finance Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Storchak at the conference "Fostering Economic Growth and Sustainability".
Ksenia Yudaeva: I am glad to welcome you at this forum devoted to the introduction to the Russian G20 presidency program! Since we have many foreign colleagues present here, and English is the official working language of the Group of Twenty, let me continue in English.
So, dear ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you at the conference devoted to the presentation of the Russian presidency program. The conference gathered the representatives of the diplomatic missions in Moscow, Russian government officials and participants of the Think 20, Business 20 and Civil 20 meetings that took place in the last two days. The conference is named "Fostering Economic Growth and Sustainability". This title reflects the core idea behind the G20.
However, this idea is only visible if the G20 decisions are nourished and supported by all the interested parties, meaning the outreach. That is why we have invited our partners representing major outreach groups to take part in the conference, to share their views and deliver their work plans for the next year. I will come back later to this.
The core objective of the Russian presidency is to concentrate the efforts of G20 on developing the set of measures aimed at boosting sustainable, inclusive and balanced growth and job creation around the world. Addressing global challenges of the world economy is the traditional focus of the G20 agenda. Russia will ensure continuity of the dialog on all of its items and attach act through impetus to the G20 decisions facilitating further implementation of commitments and building on results achieved by the G20.
Russia believes that decisions on all the interconnected issues of the G20 agenda are organized through the three overarching priorities aimed at starting the new cycle of economic growth. Three priorities are: growth through quality jobs and investment. We do believe that the world now is at the stage where growth is urgently needed and we think that to achieve balanced growth in the long run we do need to rely on investment which will allow creating jobs, new jobs, jobs for those unemployed or good jobs for those who have the so-called bad jobs right now. The second priority is growth through trust and transparency. We know that financial markets were very volatile last several years. And this volatility was an impediment for growth and investment. And restoring trust through improving transparency is one of the priorities of Russian presidency. We believe that by doing so we will be able to achieve better and more balanced growth.
The third priority is growth through effective regulation. Well, financial regulation was part of the G20 agenda from the very beginning and effective financial regulation is essential both for stability and for growth. What Russia would like to do is to continue this agenda but also to look on regulation in other areas, for instance, in energy regulation, and to see whether regulation which exists nowadays supports both investment and stability. These three priorities of the Russian presidency will serve as a lens through which we propose to discuss the G20 agenda in 2013.
And this agenda, as it has already become tradition, comprises eight areas. The first one is Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth. The second one is jobs and employment. The third one is international financial architecture reform. The fourth one is strengthening financial regulation. The fifth is energy sustainability. The sixth - development for all. The seventh - enhancing multilateral trade, and the eighth - fighting corruption.
To support the Russian Presidency's focus on boosting economic growth and job creation two new topics will be emphasized including "Financing for investment" and "Government borrowing and public debt sustainability".
In terms of the working process, Russia proposes a result-oriented and pragmatic approach, which implies streamlining the working formats and meetings along the two central tracks - Sherpas and Finance Ministries and relevant working groups. The Presidency's innovation will be a joint meeting of Finance and Labor Ministers. This meeting will bring added value to discussion of creation of quality jobs and labor activation for the vulnerable groups.
To ensure legitimacy, transparency and efficiency of the G20 the Russian Presidency plans to hold extensive outreach consultations with all the interested parties including non-G20 countries, international organizations, business, trade unions civil society, youth, think tanks and academia. And some of these meetings we have already held in the previous couple of days. And today you will hear the reports from the heads of these groups on the initial results and work programs of these communities.
Over the following year the Russian Presidency will hold more meetings with these groups considering their proposals and discussing them at Sherpas' Meetings, they will be taken into account when drafting the Leaders' Declaration. We have already had the first experience inviting some of the Think 20 representatives to talk to Sherpas, and the reaction was very positive. So we think that we may rely on this practice later on in our work. Well, Ambassador Vadim Lukov will tell you more about outreach program later.
Active interaction among all these groups - Business 20, Civil 20 and Think 20 is an innovation of the Russian Presidency. And we believe that it will allow us to generate a cross-sectoral synergy to enhance the public benefit of the G20.
Russia and me personally, we strongly believe that outreach consultations have an important role to play in nourishing the G20 ideas bank and improving the global governance institutions.
So, let me now stop here and give the floor to Sergei Storchak, whom you all know, the Deputy Minister of Finance of Russian Federation. And he will give you more details about the work of the Financial Track and the major topics of the Russian Presidency agenda. Thank you.
Sergei Storchak: Thank you, Ksenia! And good morning to all!
So, summing up what Ksenia has just said, we would keep two tracks. It stands at the approach to the G20 presidency. But I would like to remind you about this. We would keep two tracks: the Track of Ministers of Finance and Central Banks Governors. Please, do not forget that central banks are playing a very important role staying in a shadow of the G20 mainstreams. But they play a very important role, believe me. And the track headed by the Sherpas. And the agendas of both coincide and do not coincide.
There are number of topics on which we at the process of Ministers of Finance are responsible for 100%. There are some items on the agenda for which Sherpas would be responsible for during all the presidency - one example is corruption. Ministers of Finance would keep to the agenda, for instance financial regulation was already mentioned. It's reforms in the field of financial regulation that is considered to be the biggest success of G20 during the last five years of work. We really face the situations when during last 20 years financial markets and financial destitutions developed new technologies, became really global ones. And the supervisors failed to compete with these tendencies. What the G20 has managed to achieve is compensation for this, covering the gap between the level of developments of financial institutions and financial markets and the capacities of regulation and supervision. We will keep this job on our agenda, and it would be one of the cornerstones of our approaches to the final results of St.Petersburg Summit.
Plus we would have our own two priorities of special dimension on which Ministers of Finance and Central Banks Governors are evidently responsible. One item we have already referred to is financing for investment. I understand that just to take the context of this item from the air is a bit difficult. But what is standing behind the title is the fact that under recent conjunction the biggest issue is to make startups. And there are different reasons for difficulties to find exact money for startups.
The G20 agenda is an appropriate site to place these issues. We will see what can be done in terms of policy measures to develop situation when it would become much easier for the private sector to come to financial markets or to the banks and pick up the money they want.
The second important agenda for us, which is in the air and which is for years being discussed in different places but not within the G20, is borrowing strategies and debt management strategies. For the first time we are looking forward to starting the discussion of these items. The idea is very simple - to see what can be done to prevent future crises in terms of setting up new guidelines for effective borrowings and effective use of the money which was borrowed.
So, summing up my very short presentation, I would prefer to ask questions about the details of the Financial Track, because it's really wide. Summing up, we would try to keep the G20 work to its roots, to concentrate on macroeconomic policy and financial markets, and to prepare a necessary platform on which job creating would start developing and the economic growth would accelerate. Thank you!