Erdogan hosts King Salman ahead of G20 summit
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, head of the Kingdom’s delegation to the G20 summit, at the president’s residence in Antalya.
Erdogan also held a luncheon in honor of the King, during which they discussed subjects on the summit’s agenda, bilateral relations between the two countries and matters of mutual concern.
Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, attended the luncheon, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Erdogan, in a later statement, urged world leaders on Saturday to prioritize the fight against terrorism at the summit, saying attacks in Paris showed the time for words was now over.
“We are now at a point where words end in the fight against terrorism. We are now at a stage where this should be put at the forefront,” Erdogan told reporters ahead of a two-day summit of leaders from the Group of 20 major economies (G20) that begins on Sunday.
Although the G20 usually focuses on economic issues, insecurity in the Middle East and global security were already expected to be on the agenda.
French President Francois Hollande had told Erdogan by phone that he would not attend the summit, but that France’s finance and foreign ministers would be there, according to Turkish presidential sources.
Erdogan condemned the Paris killings and pointed to Turkey’s own long battle with domestic security threats.
Think20 offer support
Earlier, the Think20, under the leadership of The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), released the following statement Saturday: “In response to the terrorist attacks in Paris last evening, the Think20 participants, representing member think tanks from around the world, express their deepest condolences, support and far reaching solidarity toward the people of France.
“As highlighted in the September communiqué from the G20 finance ministers in Ankara, the fight against terrorism and its sources of funding is a major priority for G20 countries. The September communiqué reaffirmed a commitment to cutting the sources of financing that support horrific events, such as those that occurred in Paris last night.
“Specifically, the Think20 reiterates the call from the finance ministers to strengthen and make more open the exchange of information and the freezing of assets associated with terrorist activity. A greater transparency of financial flows and a commitment from countries to the criminalization of terrorist financing and financial sanctions is necessary to restrict and eliminate terrorist financial flows.
“Beyond that, action is necessary to address the economic and social underpinnings of terrorism. The Think20 calls on the G20 to prioritize its efforts in promoting global sustainable development and building the basis for longer-term shared prosperity.”
B20 Turkey summit opens
The Business-20 (B20) Turkey summit opened Saturday with the opening remarks stressing that the grouping had completed a very successful year and extended gratitude towards all the members for contributing to this success.
Participants shared their views on the B20 Turkey process, main messages to be delivered to the G20 leaders, and working areas to be continued and improved during future presidencies.
The evolving B20 agenda: Antalya and beyond, was discussed with participants highlighting the progress the business community has achieved this year as part of B20 Turkey, discussing how the outcomes of the Turkish B20 cycle should be communicated to the leaders the next day, and how the recommendations should be advocated for after the G20 Antalya Summit and participants looking at what the business community should expect from the B20, both in terms of collaboration and future topic areas, as well as how the Chinese and future presidencies can advance the global economic agenda.
The discussion ran in two parallel roundtable sessions and evolved around ten critical areas: Session A — Growth and Investment: Macroeconomic resilience, Financial regulation, SME financing, Investment and infrastructure, Energy and climate change.
Session B —Trade, Jobs and Competitiveness: Trade, Digital economy, SME competitiveness, job creation, and anti-corruption.
Major political and security challenges
Summit leader, gathering here, will have to address major challenges. The summit comes at a time of major economic, political and security challenges for the rich and poor of the world. It is expected to prepare the ground for a road map that will find ways to increase global economic resilience, increase trade and investment, help low-income countries and contain the growing threat of climate change.
Under the presidency of Erdogan, the summit agenda includes the current state of the global economy, sustainable growth, development and climate change, investment, trade and energy. In addition, the leaders will discuss global terrorism and the widening refugee crisis that now stretches from Afghanistan, Somalia and Libya to Syria and Europe.
During its G20 presidency, Turkey focused on three key areas: Inclusiveness, investment and implementation, known as the three ‘I’s. Inclusive growth extends from national economies to the various segments of global economy. At the national level, it focuses on supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs). At the global level, it refers to supporting low-income developing countries to ensure global economic balance.
The Antalya summit will seek to develop new strategies to help the poorer countries of the world and reduce global inequality. Investment is critical for creating new jobs. It is also important to boost global trade and support innovation. While each country needs to devise its own investment strategies, they should be designed in such a way as to enable national growth as well as global mobility. At this point, supporting SMEs is crucial as they provide about 60-65 percent employment across the world. Turkey led the efforts for the establishment of the Global SMEs Platform for the first time.
Finally, implementation is key to the success of the decisions that will be taken during the summit. This includes global financial regulations, sustainable development, climate change, lowering unemployment and a host of other economic and social issues that will shape the future of the global economy and affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Among these are financial regulations, taxation and the reform of the IMF.
Climate change is another major theme on the summit agenda. A full session has been slated to discuss the current state of climate change and the UN charter on the issue. The differences between the advanced industrial and developing countries need to be addressed before the UN Climate Change Summit in Paris at the end of this month. The Antalya summit will provide a warm-up venue to develop a fair and feasible action plan to reduce climate change.
As global challenges require global responses, the Antalya G20 Summit will serve as a critical platform to formulate a global agenda for the common good of our world.