Minister Kažimír discusses world economy with G20 partners

The current state of the world economy, reform of the financial sector and the international architecture of the banking system were high on the agenda of talks held by G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Chengdu during the weekend of July 23-24.

Finance Minister Peter KažimírFinance Minister Peter Kažimír (Source: TASR)

The European Union was represented at the talks by Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kažimír, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi and European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici.

During their meeting, the ministers and central bank representatives touched on the public and private investments, coordination and setting of tax systems and combating terrorism. The event was the first opportunity for the international community to meet and listen to the stance of Great Britain’s new Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond.

“Investments continue to play a key role for both the European Union as well as the G20,” said Kažimír who is currently presiding over the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN). Europe is already showing results in this field thanks to the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). “Our progress and activities in this field might be inspiring for the rest of the world,” Kažimír added, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s EFSI investment package is seen as an answer to the need for increasing investment in the economy with the aim of sustainable growth and job creation. The fund is heading towards a declared target of mobilising capital amounting to €315 billion which has been designated for reinvestment in the real economy. The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have already approved over 265 projects with a potential to generate a total investment of around €107 billion.

In connection with investments, the officials at the meeting focused on tax transparency and predictability which are necessary both for the stability of the business environment and for state budgets. Kažimír delivered a speech at a tax symposium about the need for improving the transparency of tax systems in order to enhance investment activities at the European as well as global level.

During the G20 talks, Kažimír met Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan as well as South Korea’s Minister of Strategy and Finance Yoo Il-ho. The officials exchanged information on the state of their economies, investments and investment opportunities. The Slovak side spoke about the situation in the EU following the Brexit vote in Great Britain.

G20’s joint declaration

The current state of the world economy, reform of the financial sector and the international architecture of the banking system were high on the agenda of talks held by G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Chengdu at the weekend of July 23-24.

On July 24, representatives of the G20 economies pledged to joint steps in supporting economic growth and refusing protectionism in international trade, the SITA newswire wrote. In a concluding statement, finance ministers and central bank governors from the USA, China, the UK, Germany and other countries stated that the impact of the British referendum increased global economic insecurity and they called on the building of close ties between the UK and remaining EU member states. They also expressed readiness to react actively to any potential economic and financial consequences of Brexit, and promised not to purposefully devaluate national currencies to obtain competitive advantage on export markets.  

The G20 group has only a consultative nature, the ČTK newswire wrote, adding that its goal is to stabilise the global financial system and more effectively prevent currency crises, through better exchange of information. The group unites finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 developed and developing countries; the 20th member is the EU. 

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