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Media Briefing: G-20, from Saint Petersburg to Brisbane, what to expect?

Media Briefing: G-20, from Saint Petersburg to Brisbane, what to expect? Photo © Riona Judge McCormack/ SAIIA

On 12 November 2014, Oxfam South Africa and the Global Economic Governance Africa project, a joint initiative by SAIIA and the University of Pretoria, held a Media Briefing and panel discussion on the upcoming G-20 Summit. A video of the briefing is now online.

Leaders of the Group of 20 (G-20) nations will meet in Brisbane on 15 and 16 November to discuss issues of global economic and developmental importance. These twenty states together represent two-thirds of the world’s population and over 75 per cent of global trade. South Africa is the only permanent African member of the G-20.

This special media briefing looked at moves within the G-20 to make progress on economic growth, employment, taxation and internationally agreed development goals. A panel of experts  touched on these topics and how what happens at the G-20 Summit will be relevant to South Africa and Africa. Watch the video below to hear the presentations made.

Photos from the event are also available. Follow @GEGAfrica on Twitter for live updates from the briefing.

Watch an SABC news segment on the panel, or read an article, 'G-20 Urged to Include Africa in Development Plans' by Voice of America.

Key questions for South Africa

  • Has the September 2014 meeting of the G-20 Labour and Employment Ministers developed any tangible actions to boost employment, lift workforce participation and help long-term and youth unemployment? Could these be applied in South Africa?
  • Can South Africa’s high level of unemployment, which is entrenched into the way the economy is structured and operates, by affected by the G-20’s actions this year on boosting employment?
  • The G-20 focus on tax is of interest to South Africa as its government has established the Davis Tax Committee, and this Committee will be releasing a report on BEPS in early 2015. How do moves at G-20 level impact on these plans?
  • How is the development agenda relevant to South Africa, given its extremely high levels of inequality and the underdevelopment which exists in parallel to high levels of development


Speakers:

  • Mr Francois Stofberg, Economist, Efficient Group (G-20 growth strategies and the SA economy)
  • Ms Marianne Buenaventura, Governance Advisor, Oxfam (Inequality, the impact of the Ebola crisis, tax)
  • Mr Vic Van Vuuren, Director, International Labour Organization South Africa (Employment)
  • Ms Catherine Grant, Research Associate, SAIIA (How to strengthen the African voice in G-20 processes)
  • Mr Taku Fundira, Senior Researcher, SPII and commissioned SAIIA researcher (G-20 Tax Agenda and Africa's needs)

 For more information or to arrange for interviews please contact: media@saiia.org.za

Key issues ahead of the G-20 Summit:

Employment: The International Labour Organization estimates that 62 million more workers would be employed if the world economy had continued on its pre-Global Financial Crisis path. In September the G-20 agreed to develop actions to boost employment, lift workforce participation and help long-term and youth unemployment.

Economic Growth: Earlier this year, G-20 members committed to new measures aimed at raising their output by at least an additional 2% in the next five years. This could boost global GDP by over $2 trillion and create millions of additional jobs.

Development: This is an issue directly relevant to the group, as two thirds of the world’s poor live in G-20 countries. It is also very relevant to South Africa, with its extremely high levels of inequality and the underdevelopment which exists in parallel to high levels of development.

Tax: The G-20 is strongly committed to protecting the integrity of national tax systems. It also wants to ensure that developing countries benefit from its G20’s tax agenda. It is expected that the 2014 G20 Summit will outline implementation plans for the automatic exchange of tax information.

South Africa set a valuable precedent for including the voices of other African countries during its hosting of the BRICS Summit in 2013. Extending this to the G-20 is of relevance to South Africa in that it would assist South Africa to balance its national and continental G-20 related interests.

Event details

Venue:      Jan Smuts House – Wits University East Campus
Date:         Wednesday, 12 July 2014
Time:        10:00 – 12:30


This briefing is hosted as part of the Global Economic Governance Africa Project, a joint initiative by SAIIA and the University of Pretoria.

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