South Africa heads to G20 trade ministers meeting to address strains in multilateral systems

Ujuh Reporter

South Africa is headed to the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting on 14 September 2018 in Mar del Plata, Argentina, with a mission of providing a developing country viewpoint and addressing the straining factors in the multilateral trading system, says the country’s trade and industry minister Rob Davies.

He notes that ” The G20 Trade Ministers is taking place at a time when the multilateral trading system is facing unprecedented challenges. Of concern is the rise of trade measures that are not compatible with the WTO.”

The G20 Trade Ministers meeting, said Davies, will provide an opportunity for a dialogue on current developments in international trade and its implications for the global economy.

He emphasises that South Africa’s participation in the G20 is to contribute to and shape global trade and investment policy debates by providing views from a developing country standpoint. The core objective for South Africa in engaging in the G20 is to advance a development oriented perspective in all the issues under discussion that preserves policy space to advance South Africa and Africa’s development integration, promote inclusive growth and structural transformation.

The G20 Trade Ministers Meeting will be preceded by the Trade and Investment Working Group meeting. The  meeting will focus on key factors for G20 policy making to support participation and upgrading in inclusive Global Value Chains (GVCs) in the agricultural sector at regional and global level.

The meeting will also provide a platform for an exchange of experiences on how G20 countries can address the challenges associated with disruptive changes presented by the New Industrial Revolution/ the Fourth Industrial Revolution and leverage the opportunities in order to advance inclusive growth.

Davies said  GVCs have led to a reconfiguration of trade and investment flows. “Location in the value chain is a critical determinant to how benefits are shared. African countries participate in GVCs mainly as suppliers of primary products.”

Davoes added that “What is required is to preserve policy space to move-up the value chain into production of high-value products in order to promote meaningful participation in GVCs. The NIR on the other hand is leading to unprecedented disruptions in trade and production. The G20 offers an opportunity for the exchange of views on global developments, regulatory framework and policy responses that facilitate leveraging the NIR and managing the challenges to promote inclusive growth.”

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