Russian Finance Minister reviews results of G20 Leaders’ first session
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov discussed the results of the first working session of the G20 Leaders' Summit at a press briefing. The focus on the session was on macroeconomic and financial issues, he said.
The G20 Leaders expressed support for the St.Petersburg Action Plan for Economic Growth and Job Creation. "The plan was approved by all speakers. The next step is its implementation," the Minister said.
The plan involves a number of specific steps to foster economic growth, reduce unemployment, stimulate investment, and prevent volatility in capital flows.
The session participants affirmed that the global economy is showing positive trends overall, with positive dynamics in the economies of developed countries. Today more attention was paid to the situation with developing economies, where growth has slowed down. According to Mr. Siluanov, this is due to the curtailment of quantitative easing.
"Indeed, the policy of quantitative easing had to come to an end one day, and the parameters for its end have been set. It is obvious that the time of cheap money is nearing the end, and money will increase in value. The question is how and how fast. This kind of policy certainly has to be carried out gradually and within reasonable limits," the Minister said.
All G20 Leaders emphasized the importance of adopting the Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. "In light of ongoing budget consolidation, the budget revenue base should be expanded. It causes widespread anger when companies operate in one country, pay taxes in the other, and take profit out of the countries where they operate and render services," Mr. Siluanov said, adding that the Plan will reduce the number of tax evaders considerably.
During the session, the participants also discussed financial regulation. They praised most countries' decision to adopt the Basel III standards starting in 2014, discussed the role of rating agencies which assess various countries, as well as the objectivity of their ratings.
Efforts to regulate systemically important financial institutions were met with support. Such institutions will be subject to additional, heightened monitoring requirements.
There was also considerable discussion of shadow banking at the session, Mr. Siluanov noted. "This sphere should be put in order," he said.
While discussing structural measures, participants spoke on targeted national measures, as well as on global structural measures such as preventing protectionism in trade. "Many of the G20 Leaders focused on this issue, as free trade makes it possible to incentivize exporters and use existing advantages to boost economies. This is the correct measure," Mr. Siluanov said.
Finally, the participants discussed the role of fiscal consolidation. "Not long ago, this policy was considered the polar opposite of economic growth, while now attitudes have changed and budget consolidation remains on the G20 agenda," he said.
"All countries have adopted the decision to reduce debts and deficits both in the medium and long term. This is very gratifying, and I believe that this is a positive outcome of Russia's G20 Presidency and the Finance Ministers' work," Mr. Siluanov concluded.