Turkey seeks progress on more focused, inclusive G-20 growth plan

Turkey seeks progress on more focused, inclusive G-20 growth plan

BODRUM - Reuters
Turkey seeks progress on more focused, inclusive G-20 growth plan

Turkey's G20 Sherpa Ambassador Ayşe Sinirlioğlu

The world’s leading economies have narrowed down their commitments to boost global growth under a G-20 plan and should be able to demonstrate progress by the end of Turkey’s G-20 presidency this year, a senior Turkish official said on June 15.

The Group of 20 agreed in Brisbane last year to launch new measures to raise their collective gross domestic product growth and create millions of new jobs over the next five years.

But the pledge, called the Brisbane Action Plan, entailed hundreds of commitments, raising questions over the ability of the G-20 to effectively monitor their implementation.

“If we can achieve this goal in five years ... we will be adding 2 trillion dollars to world economic output, which is almost equal to the size of the Indian economy,” Turkey’s G-20 ‘sherpa’ Ayşe Sinirlioğlu told Reuters in an interview.

“We said this year we should focus on 5-8 commitments that will have the most effect on growth ... Each country has now chosen these 5-8 commitments, and by the end of our presidency we will have the accountability report and then we will see how much progress we have made,” she said.

Sinirlioğlu, an economist and career diplomat who is the most senior official coordinating Turkey’s G-20 presidency after Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, was speaking ahead of a meeting of deputy finance ministers in Bodrum this week.

At their first meeting under the Turkish presidency in February, G-20 finance ministers sketched an uncertain outlook for global growth, with major economies running at different speeds and monetary policies diverging.

They appeared at the time to reject a Turkish proposal for country-specific investment targets to spur demand. The G-20 finance ministers are due to meet again in September in Ankara before a G-20 leaders’ summit two months later.

As well as focusing on implementing past commitments, which Turkish officials say is critical to the credibility of the G-20, Turkey has made “inclusiveness” one of the key themes of its presidency, seeking to agree plans to reduce inequality within nations as well as giving low-income nations a greater voice.

Sinirlioğlu said energy ministers would meet for the first time in the G-20’s history in Istanbul in October and that the focus would be on “access to energy” in sub-Saharan Africa.

The aim would be to develop an action plan, including steps to improve the regulatory environment, which could then be modified by individual African states with a view to helping them secure private-sector finance for energy investments.