People, planet, prosperity: The Italian G20 Finance track
On 1 December 2020, Italy took over the Italian G20 Presidency from Saudi Arabia. It is the first time our Country is called upon to lead this international forum bringing together the world’s most prominent economies. This represents a formidable challenge, in particular in a year where the global economy needs to recover after the devastating impact brought about by the Covid-19 crisis. Economic growth, productivity, climate, infrastructure, international taxation to financial inclusion, financial stability and support to the most fragile economies are the main priorities of G20.
The G20 groups the G7 countries plus: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and the European Union. They are joined by some international organizations, namely: the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Financial Stability Board and the United Nations. Each year, a selected number of guest members is invited to take part to guarantee a broader geographical participation.
The G20 was founded in 1999 to promote international financial stability. In 2008, in response to the 2007 financial crisis, the G20 became a yearly Summit with the participation of the Heads of States and Governments. Although throughout the years G20 discussions expanded their area of interest, economic issues remain at the core of its work.
The Italian G20 Finance Track
The Finance Track gathers G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to discuss global economic, fiscal and monetary issues. They work closely with the International Monetary Fund in relation to international economic cooperation and with the Financial Stability Board on global financial stability and risk mitigation via information exchanges. Main issues cover global economy, sustainable and inclusive growth and financial regulation.
Three main themes embody the Italian G20 Presidency: People, Planet and Prosperity, which will also frame the Finance Track agenda.
The need to secure closer coordination for both economic and fiscal measures will top the agenda for 2021, in particular to face the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis. The aim is to reach consensus on a coordinated fiscal package designed to deal with the exit of the second wave of the pandemic while fostering the recovery and growth of the global economy.
2021 Event Calendar
In 2021, four meetings of the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors will be held under the Italian Presidency. These will be paired by four Sherpa official meetings – Heads of State and Government representatives – and five Deputies’ official meetings - Finance Ministers’ representatives.
Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors will also gather in Venice on 9 and 10 July. In 2021, on the margins of the Leaders’ Summit on 30-31 October, Finance and Health Ministers will meet for a special joint meeting.
The Finance Track is structured into five separate working groups, dedicated to sustainable and inclusive growth, international financial architecture, infrastructure, financial inclusion and Africa. The Finance Track also includes groups on financial regulation and taxation.
Framework Working Group
The Framework Working Group (FWG) monitors the evolution of the global economic outlook, while coordinating policies aimed at underpinning a strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth. In the wake of the crisis caused by the pandemic, the primary goal of the FWG is to advance economic policy proposals to sustain the global recovery. To this end, the FWG contributes to updating the G20 Action Plan and monitoring progress in implementation.
International Financial Architecture Working Group
The International Financial Architecture (IFA) Working Group works to enhance stability and cohesion of the international financial system. It addresses the challenges related to debt sustainability and transparency; strengthening global financial safety nets; volatile capital flows and associated risks; financing for development in low-income countries; coordination between international financial institutions, including multilateral development banks.
Infrastructure Working Group
The Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) advises on policies to improve preparation, financing and management of quality infrastructure investments to secure the provision of inclusive, sustainable and resilient basic infrastructure services to all. The Group aims to tackle the persistent gap in infrastructure investment, also by promoting them as an asset class as to stimulate private sector involvement.
Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion
In 2010, the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion was created to advance financial inclusion globally as a mean of increasing well-being and achieving a sustainable and inclusive growth. The focus of its action is to enhance the access to, and the use of, responsible formal financial services – also through digital means – for families and businesses. It also helps to promote an adequate financial education and to strengthen financial consumer protection.
Africa Advisory Group
The Africa Advisory Group (AAG) is responsible, since 2017, for leading the G20 Compact with Africa, with the aim of improving the environment for private investment in African countries and fostering growth and sustainable development. This informal body is co-chaired by Germany and South Africa, and comprises some G20 members, the African Compact Countries, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other stakeholders such as the EU Commission and the OECD. The AAG meets twice a year to monitor progresses made by Compact Countries and suggest new policy recommendations based on the Compact Monitoring Report.