Trade ministers from the world’s major economies have reached an agreement to cut trade costs, increase policy coordination and enhance financing, according China’s Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng on Sunday.
Following a meeting that lasted for two days, the Group of 20 trade ministers stated the approval of a broad trade growth strategy that seeks to speed up the slow pace in global trade.
Furthermore, the meeting was wrapped-up by supporting guiding principles for global investment policy-making.
“The global recovery continues, but it remains uneven and falls short of our ambition for strong, sustainable and balanced growth. Downside risks and vulnerabilities persist,” the ministers said in a joint statement.
“We agree that we need to do more to achieve our common objectives for global growth, stability and prosperity.”
The ministers discussed the need to address overcapacity, particularly in the steel sector, but some did not agree on the need for certain new commitments to resolve the problem, as stated by one senior trade official involved in the talks, declining to be identified because details of the discussions had not been made public.
The United States has been a vocal critic of China’s excess capacity, saying its pledges have not gone far enough to resolve the problem.
Chinese trade officials have repeatedly stressed that the country has been the victim of overzealous anti-dumping actions by foreign countries, which fail to take into account Chinese efficiency or its low labor and production costs.
Global foreign exchange rates, in flux since Britain’s referendum to leave the European Union, were not mentioned in the joint statement, and the senior trade official involved in the talks said the issue had not been discussed.
On Britain’s exit vote, UK and EU representatives in Shanghai were at pains to stress that they would come up with a “sensible and mature new arrangement”, South Africa’s Minister for Trade and Industry Rob Davies told Reuters on Saturday.