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Chinese President Launches G20 Summit in Presence of Deputy Crown Prince | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People cycle past a billboard for the G20 summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, July 29, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song

Hangzhou-Chinese President Xi Jinping launched on Sunday the G20 Nations Summit in the presence of Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and world leaders.

Speaking at the opening session, the Chinese president said that the global economy has arrived “at a crucial juncture” in the face of slow demand, volatile financial markets and feeble trade and investment.

He also stressed that the global economy was being threatened by rising protectionism and risks from highly leveraged financial markets.

“Growth drivers from the previous round of technological progress are gradually fading, while a new round of technological and industrial revolution has yet to gain momentum,” he said.

Xi also called on G20 countries to match their words with actions.

“We should turn the G20 group into an action team, instead of a talk shop,” he said.

The Chinese president also noted that the summit would focus on topics essential to the world economy, including macro-economic policy coordination, innovation-driven growth, more efficient world governance, robust trade and investment, and inclusive and interconnected development.

Meanwhile on Sunday, the deputy crown prince met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of the Summit.

The meeting saw discussions over bilateral relations and ways to promote cooperation in all fields. The officials also reviewed a number of issues of common interest.

In remarks to reporters on the sidelines of the summit, Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda said that the G20 countries were set to agree in a communiqué at the end of the summit that all policy measures – including monetary, fiscal and structural reforms – should be used to achieve solid and sustainable economic growth.

“Commitment will be made to utilizing all three policy tools of monetary and fiscal policies and structural reforms to achieve solid, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth,” Hagiuda said.

The G20 Summit is being held under the theme of “Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy.”

The Summit has put the issue of development front and center of the global macro policy framework for the first time.

It is also the first time that the G20 has an action plan for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and carries out cooperation to support the industrialization of African countries and least developed countries.

G20 nations represent two-thirds of the world’s population and contribute about 90 percent of the world’s total gross domestic product and 80 percent of the world’s trade volume.

Also on Sunday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the G20 members to follow the U.S. and China and ratify the climate change agreement reached during the COP21 conference in Paris last December.

“I urge all leaders, particularly G20 countries, to accelerate their domestic ratification processes so we can turn the aspirations of Paris into the transformative climate action the world so urgently needs,” Ban said at a press conference on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.

The U.N. chief recommended that the leaders of the developed and emerging countries that are part of the Group of 20 to make use of the momentum from the ratification of the climate pact by the U.S. and China.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama said that his country and Russia still had “grave differences” over the future course of action to put an end to the five years of violence in Syria. “I think it’s premature for us to say there’s a clear path forward, but there’s the possibility at least for us to make some progress,” the U.S. president told reporters on the sidelines of the summit.