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G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting

Mykola Volkivskyi

Government Relations expert,  

Ukrainian political scientist;

Artem Oliinyk

The President of the IAPSS

(International Association for Political Science Students) in Ukraine

Very soon, on October 30-31, 2021, the G20 Rome Summit will take place – the result of framework meetings that lasted throughout the year. But before this decisive summit, another equally important meeting will take place, the decisions of which may have a strong impact on Ukraine.

A meeting of G20 ministers responsible for trade in their home countries will take place on 12 October in Sorrento, near Naples, Italy. Let me remind you that the G20 countries are more than 70% of the world’s population, 80% of world trade, and 90% of the world’s domestic product.

Trade serves people, the planet, and global prosperity, according to the three pillars defined as the slogan of the G20 2021 summit – “People, Planet, Prosperity”.

The commitment to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on trade and investment and to pursue a policy of “better building” sustainable, comprehensive, and tolerable recovery goes hand in hand with the need to strengthen rules, a non-discriminatory and transparent multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization.

The G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Investment aims to be the driving force for the successful outcome of the 12th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference to be held in Geneva from 30 November to 3 December 2021, which will be a key moment in the revitalization of multilateral trade relations.

The meeting is scheduled with 3 sessions and will cover six key topics. Regarding the link between trade and health, the pandemic stressed the importance of ensuring the sustainability of global medical and pharmaceutical supply chains. The G20 will discuss improving the ability of the trading system to respond to health emergencies through existing WTO initiatives.

Sustainable development and environmental protection are key objectives of the Marrakesh Agreement, which established the WTO in 1995. An increasing number of countries rely on trade policy instruments to achieve environmental goals, and the discussion is designed to promote transparency and dialogue. The G20 could be a political impetus for concluding negotiations on fisheries subsidies, which is a key step in trade and environmental sustainability for many countries.

The debate on services and investment will focus on promoting digital commerce, reducing the cost of trade in services, and adopting a transparent, predictable, and effective regulatory and administrative framework for investment purposes.

The focus will also be on supporting participation in world trade, taking into account current and future challenges, including the priority green and digital transition.

The G20 will also discuss the transparency of government support interventions in the economy to understand their complex impact on world markets, while the opportunity costs of limited public resources needed to address short-term and long-term challenges are high.

Together with the Minister of Trade, the Italian Presidency of the G20 intends to put WTO reform at the centre of the agenda, giving political impetus to the inclusive process of institutional reform of the organization to revive trade and multilateral development.  The Sorrento Ministerial Declaration will reflect these priorities, discussed during the meeting and signed in a joint document at the end of the summit.

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