Remarks by Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong at the Opening Ceremony of the Fifth G20 Sherpa Meeting
October 27, 2016
Thanks to our joint efforts, the 11th G20 Leaders’ Meeting was successfully concluded last month in Hangzhou. It was a much anticipated G20 Summit convened at a juncture crucial to both global growth and the G20’s transformation. Centering on the theme of fostering an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy, leaders of all member states, guest countries and the relevant international organizations had an in-depth exchange of views and reached extensive consensus on a host of topics including strengthening macroeconomic policy coordination, breaking a new path for growth, more effective and efficient world economic and financial governance, robust international trade and investment as well as inclusive and interconnected development. Some major issues affecting the global economy were also discussed. A Leaders’ Communique was produced that articulates the Hangzhou Consensus conceived on the basis of vision, integration, openness and inclusiveness, and further clarifies the direction, objectives and measures for the G20 cooperation.
In the past year, we held about 70 meetings at various levels; we had over 100 bilaterals and hundreds of teleconferences; we carefully listened to the views and suggestions of non-members and international organizations; and we reached out extensively through engagement groups’ meetings and dialogues with our partners outside the G20 community. Our efforts culminated with a fruitful summit producing a strong Leaders’ Communique and 28 high quality outcome documents rich in content and important to our future cooperation. All this could not have been achieved without your wisdom, your hard work and your courage to answer to the calling of our time. I hope that the G20 China Year and the beauty of the West Lake have all left us with fond memories, and years after when we look back, we could still be proud of what we have achieved today.
A thousand commitments made are no better than one commitment delivered. The effectiveness of the G20 mechanism lies in the continuous implementation of what has been agreed and the continuity and consistency of the cooperation process. The core task of this Sherpa Meeting is to look at our road ahead, push for the implementation of the important consensus and ensure sound transition over to the German Presidency. In this context, I wish to highlight the following four points.
First, to ensure continuity of the G20 Agenda. Global economic recovery remains fragile and unbalanced. We need to stick to the growth path identified in Hangzhou, take innovation and structural reforms as important drivers for growth, make the best of all policy tools, and combine short-term policies with mid-to-long term ones, to ensure financial market stability and economic growth. We need to continue pushing for the reform of the international financial architecture, deal with potential risks and fragility of the financial system, deepen cooperation on financial inclusion and green finance, step up international tax cooperation, make global energy governance more effective and advance anti-corruption cooperation. We need to stay committed to an open world economy, oppose protectionism, strengthen the multilateral trading system, revitalize trade and investment, and ensure their benefit be shared by all. We need to remain attentive to development issues and heed to the voice of developing countries, accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and help developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development.
Second, to ensure effectiveness of mechanisms. During the preparations for the Hangzhou Summit, the working groups and task forces on both the Sherpa and finance tracks carried out effective work on growth, innovation, governance and development, with clear division of work and close coordination. The Hangzhou Summit gave a comprehensive boost to the institutional development for G20 cooperation in all areas, with decisions on the establishment of the Task Force on Innovative Growth, the Working Group on Trade and Investment, the anti-corruption research center, the tax policy research center and the entrepreneurship research center. These new mechanisms will provide strong guarantee for our cooperation in relevant areas. We need to make full use of these existing structures and new mechanisms to support the implementation of Summit outcomes and help future presidencies contribute more to the work in related areas.
Third, to sharpen the focus. China respects and supports Germany, as the next G20 Presidency, in putting forward the G20 priorities for next year. This is an exercise that reinforces, instead of contradicting with the implementation of the outcomes of the Hangzhou Summit. We are glad to see that Germany has taken digitization, trade, governance, sustainable development and Africa as key agenda items. There’s reason to believe that the outcomes of Hangzhou will provide a solid basis for consensus-building and strong political support for the work of the German Presidency.
Fourth, to uphold partnership. The spirit of partnership featuring win-win cooperation through thick and thin is not only the G20’s collective memory, but more importantly, the spiritual wealth that pushes us forward. Through the Hangzhou Summit, we have made this partnership stronger and provided confidence and impetus to global growth. Going forward, we will stay true to our shared aspirations and press ahead hand in hand.
As China’s G20 Sherpa, I wish to, once again, say a big thank you to you all for your support during the past year. Once we agree, we will deliver. This is the solemn pledge of our leaders, a pledge that determines the G20’s credibility and future. China stands ready to take the implementation of the outcomes of the Hangzhou Summit as a fresh start and seize the precious opportunity of this Meeting to develop closer cooperation with you all so that the G20 process will move constantly forward and contribute more to global growth, economic governance and the well-being of our peoples.