Making the most of growth
Talks on the second day of the summit meeting of the G7 heads of state and government were overshadowed by the decisions taken the evening before with respect to relations with Russia and Ukraine. Nevertheless the summit meeting also sent important signals regarding the global economy, trade, energy, climate and development policy.
"All in all the discussions were very intensive and most harmonious. It was vitally important that we have common positions, particularly in terms of relations with Russia and Ukraine, and that we continue what we have managed over the last few months – to act in concert as the G7," said Angela Merkel at her final press conference.
Harnessing growth to create jobs
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects global growth to hit 3.6 per cent this year, rising to 3.9 per cent next year. This would put growth at or slightly above the average of recent years.
Against this background, the G7 summit, said the Chancellor, sends a clear signal to the forthcoming G20 summit meeting in Australia: the G7 states support ambitious and specific strategies for more growth.
"Strategies of this sort will include labour market reforms. They will look at the issue of increasing the numbers of women in work and encouraging investment in small and medium enterprises." The heads of government want increased growth to benefit the people in the form of more jobs, reported the Chancellor.
Making progress on trade agreements
The heads of government noted that free international trade is an important driver of economic growth. They aim to further open international markets and dismantle trade barriers.
The aim must be to make good progress on the free trade agreements with the USA and Asia by next year, said the Chancellor.
Securing energy supplies
Energy and climate was another field tackled during the summit. The resolutions of the G7 energy ministers were analysed and welcomed. In the medium term strategies are to be elaborated for ensuring a secure energy supply, especially with regard to gas supplies for European Union member states.
Important tasks for the G7 states next year include the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, which is to be brought to a successful conclusion. The Millennium Development Goals are also to be further developed at international level.
The G7 summit meeting wound up with a discussion of development policy. Angela Merkel reported that this had already provided the foundations for the issues to be discussed at the next summit meeting.
The sustainable development goals, which are to replace the ongoing Millennium Development Goals after 2015, will play a major part at the next summit, announced the Chancellor. The post-2015 development agenda is to bring together poverty reduction and sustainable development processes.
On the German side there is a great deal of interest in improving transparency in the extractive industries and trade in raw materials and resources. The focus must now be on further developing the (Strengthening Assistance for Complex Contract Negotiations), said the Chancellor. This initiative is to help developing countries in complex contract negotiations in the extractive sector, and is to be continued under the German G7 presidency.
The Chancellor announced that many of the ongoing development programmes will be re-evaluated and continued. This includes the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), for which a replenishment meeting is to be held in Germany in 2015.