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  • News conference “Outcomes of the Russian G20 Presidency”

Outcomes of the Russian G20 Presidency

On November 29, 2013 a news conference highlighting the outcomes of the Russia's G20 Presidency year and priority strands of Russia's further participation in the G20 activities was held in Moscow. The conference also marked the official passing of the G20 Presidency over to Australia, starting from December 1, 2013.

Deputy Chief of the Presidential Experts' Directorate, the Russian G20 Sherpa Svetlana Lukash spoke on the main outcomes of the Russian Presidency on Sherpas' track. She noted that Russia's leadership received high evaluation from all the partners and brought about a number of significant results for Russia and the global economy on the whole. She also reminded that the main goals of Russia's Presidency were boosting economic growth, finding new sources of growth and addressing the employment issues.

Svetlana Lukash presented a detailed description of the decisions made and result sachieved on such working strands as quality jobs creation, countering tax evasion, developing multilateral trade, international development and anti-corruption. The key result of the Summit was adoption of the St.Petersburg Action Plan, which defines the G20 strategy on achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth. Likewise, within the year of the Russian Presidency implementation of previous commitments has been reviewed and analyzed.

"The St.Petersburg Summit reaffirmed the G20 role as the world's leading economic forum and allowed to consolidate our efforts. As a result, all G20 countries have precise plans on managing economic situation, jobs creation and attracting investment," the Russian Sherpa concluded.

Deputy Finance Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Storchak expressed his confidence that the Russian G20 Presidency, the process itself and its main outcomes, became an important chapter in the history of the global finance diplomacy. "Personally, I would call the main result of the G20 work in 2013 our ability to cooperate effectively not only in the situation of crisis, which we demonstrated as a club. We proved that in the situation, when national interests, interests concerned with boosting economic growth, particularly through export, come to the fore, the G20 countries are capable of finding consensus and moving along the coordinated way," he emphasized.

The key topic of the Finance track, according to the Deputy Finance Minister, pertained to trying to find compromise between boosting economic growth on the one hand, and constraining increase of sovereign debt and decreasing fiscal deficit, on the other.

Speaking of the future of the G20, Sergey Storchak informed that the importance of intensifying the work of the forum and avoiding its bureaucratization is currently being discussed. It is already agreed that all priority topics of a particular Presidency should not be placed on the agenda of every G20 meeting. Likewise, possibility to increase the role and influence of Sherpas in the Finance track activities, since Sherpas are closer to the Leaders, and to strengthen the "Troika" is being currently discussed.

Ksenia Yudaeva, First Deputy Chair of the Bank of Russia and the Russian G20 ex-Sherpa, reminded that 2013 was the G20 fifth anniversary year. "This is the time for summing up, the time for reframing the agenda and shifting its focus. And this is what has happened within the period of Russia's Presidency," Ms. Yudaeva believes. She also explained that previously the G20 was mostly concerned with elaborating anti-crisis measures; starting from the Russian Presidency the G20 now concentrates more on a new development agenda and, partially, on strategies for exiting the anti-crisis mode. This shift, among other things, is connected with Russia's choice of the agenda. «We had decided to withdraw from the tradition of choosing small-scale, particular priorities that were afterwards dwarfed by pressing anti-crisis topics of the moment; so we had chosen a broad theme of economic development, investment, employment and related issues," Ksenia Yudaeva noted.

Ambassador of Australia to the Russian Federation Paul Myler informed that during its G20 Presidency year in 2014 Australia would keep the focus on such topics introduced by Russia, as economic growth and jobs creation, as well as empowering the private sector and increasing its inclusion in the economy. "We all recognize that macro and fiscal tools the governments have are exhausted in terms of promoting growth, and that today, to deliver the growth, we need to attract private capital," the Ambassador emphasized. Another important topic of the Australian Presidency will be continuing to build resilience in the global economy in order to avoid crises in future.

Paul Myler noted significant progress made during the year of the Russian Presidency in such areas, as prevention of tax base erosion and profits shifting, and financing long-term investment for infrastructure projects. Likewise, Mr. Myler gave high evaluation of the role of Russia in supporting the organizational structure of the G20 and ensuring the continuity in its work: "It is incredibly important that not only the document at the end of the year is strong, but the organization of the G20 is stronger from year to year. And I think the Russian Presidency guaranteed that".

In conclusion, a symbolic passing of the G20 Presidency from Russia over to Australia took place. The Australian G20 Presidency will start officially on December 1, 2013.

* * *

Moderator: Good afternoon, colleagues. Ladies and gentlemen, we are starting the news conference "Outcomes of the Russian G20 Presidency". I now give the floor to Svetlana Lukash.

Svetlana Lukash: I am very happy to sum up the outcomes of Russia's Presidency, which, as many (even all of our partners of our partners) believe was highly successful and yielded numerous extremely serious results for the Russian and global economies.

The G20 is a leading global forum for multilateral economic and financial cooperation. It received such recognition through its contribution in the recovery from the 2008 global economic and financial crisis. Therefore it was a colossal responsibility for Russia to assume presidency this year.

While charting our priorities, we considered the economic situation of the fall of 2012 and early 2013, as well as the unspoken G20 rule on ensuring the agenda's continuity and the global nature of issues being examined. What economic factors were at play? Reduced economic growth rates, persisting high unemployment rates, especially among young people, the need to find new sources of growth, substantial budget deficits and snowballing public debts. Therefore the main goals of Russia's Presidency were as follows: to create economic growth incentives; search for new sources of growth, decrease the unemployment rate, and create high-quality jobs.

In our search for ways to accomplish these objectives, we narrowed down the following three main priorities of Russia's Presidency: growth through quality jobs and investment, growth through trust and transparency, growth through effective regulation. It is precisely these priorities that ensured continuity in G20 work and considerable headway on all the main items on the agenda.

According to standard G20 practice, a Sherpa oversees the so-called non-financial track, while the Ministry of Finance is responsible for financial issues. Therefore, I will only name some of the main themes, and Mr. Storchak (Deputy Minister of Finance Sergei Storchak) will later discuss them in greater detail. I will focus on employment, trade and development issues.

Apart from traditional items of the agenda, including the implementation of the G20 Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth, financial regulation, reform of the international financial system and some others, the Russian Presidency suggested several new themes, which were actively supported by all the partners from the very beginning, and, later, by the entire international community. First of all, this includes investment as a new source of growth; the attraction of new sources of growth; efforts to ensure debt stability and to improve public debt management, and the main theme, which dominated from the start of the year: efforts to combat tax evasion.

The Russian Presidency also focused on accounts and records. This year, it was our honorary duty to assess obligations in virtually all aspects of G20 activity. We prepared reports on the fulfillment of previously assumed obligations. This was an entirely new area of work for the G20, and I must say that we have coped with it rather successfully.

Many important decisions were adopted at the St.Petersburg Summit for the benefit of the international community and the Russian economy. In effect, an action plan aiming to promote new sources of growth was approved for virtually every area. It goes without saying that the St.Petersburg Action Plan, which sets forth the G20 Strategy for Attaining Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth, is a key Summit outcome. We managed to achieve consensus in that the countries concerned should combine a policy of maintaining adequate economic growth rates with the adoption of mid-term national strategies of fiscal consolidation. We were the first to pledge to reduce budget deficits for the first time in G20 practice. At the same time, all countries also pledged to implement structural reforms. We are confident that all these measures, which will be examined by Sergei Storchak in greater detail, will make it possible to attract investment and to encourage investors to finance the real economy in G20 countries.

Job creation became the cornerstone of the employment agenda. In reality, the G20 has never raised this issue so actively, and it has always focused on employees' social security. During the Russian Presidency, we started examining the creation of jobs as the cause, rather than a consequence, of economic growth for the first time. Labour markets remain largely localized, and, of course, it was impossible to find a common remedy for all G20 countries. But, theoretically speaking, the problems that they face are the same everywhere, including unemployment. There is structural and unofficial unemployment. There is colossal youth unemployment, including in developed European countries and in countries with developing economies. Last year, South Africa posted 70% unemployment among young people. During the Russian Presidency, the G20 drafted a range of measures aimed at boosting employment and reducing unemployment. Each country can choose its own set of measures based on its individual needs.

There is another highly important aspect, which had never been discussed in the G20 format before. An integrated approach toward formulating labour market policies was suggested. An agreement to implement an integrated policy on the financial budget and employment became the main outcome. Since it is impossible to create high-quality jobs outside the context of economic development, we agreed that it is necessary to focus on the entire range of macroeconomic, financial and social indicators. This approach will ensure the required balance between supply and demand on the labour market. The innovative Joint G20 Finance and Labour Ministers Meeting played a key role in reaching this agreement. This innovation was introduced during the Russian Presidency, and all partners believe that it has brought about great success and breakthrough decisions in the year of our Presidency.

We also monitored the previously approved G20 measures on labour markets for the first time. This made it possible to formulate a range of measures regarding experience exchanges. Several countries, such as Japan, have already adopted a number of employment practices, which were drafted during the Russian Presidency.

With respect to the key issue of Russia's Presidency - investment financing - I would ask Sergei Storchak to provide more details. We were focusing on stimulating long-term investments. All our partners supported this initiative, and we are very pleased and honored that Australia will continue implementing the strategy that was developed during Russia's Presidency.

On tax evasion, the G20 Summit adopted the Action Plan on Tax Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. An agreement was also reached to develop and introduce a new international standard of automatic exchange of tax information. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it was the biggest step in the last 100 years that will help streamline tax policies in the G20 countries and the whole world.

A traditional area of work of the G20, and indeed, the most successful one, is international financial regulation reform. Sergei Storchak will cover this issue as well. And I would like to emphasize the breakthroughs of the Russian Presidency with respect to international trade. We have successfully extended the G20 standstill commitment on protectionism until the end of 2016, which will undoubtedly make the business environment around the world more predictable. This decision is expected to facilitate investment across the globe in all industries involved in exports and imports. Facilitating trade has always been viewed as one of the key drivers of economic growth.

Another crucial issue for Russia and the whole modern world in general are regional trade agreements. Almost a half of international trade is regulated now by regional trade agreements, not the framework of multilateral trade system. This trend is becoming increasingly apparent, and could not be ignored by the G20. What are the key takeaways in this area? It is essential that such agreements are transparent and that everyone follows the same rules for ensuring that businesses do not face any obstacles, while people and businesses benefit from maximum transparency. We are proud that we were able to agree on advancing transparency in trade agreements, and to annex this agreement to the St.Petersburg Leaders' Declaration.

The issue of facilitating international development appeared on the G20 agenda in 2011. The Seoul Action Plan expired this year, and Russia had the task of reviewing the activities undertaken over the last three years. Russia has drafted a unique document, the Accountability Report on the Implementation of the G20 Development Commitments, and also outlined the development agenda for the coming years, which will be implemented by Australia and later Turkey.

The St.Petersburg Development Outlook outlining five development priorities for the G20 has been endorsed. These five priorities include ensuring food security, facilitating access to financial services and improving financial literacy, developing up-to-date infrastructure, developing human capital, and enabling low-income countries to mobilize domestic resources.

For the first time ever, the G20 agenda on development included the Millennium Development Goals, which should be achieved by 2015. The UN is currently shaping its post-2015 development agenda, and the G20 is committed to assisting the UN in this endeavor.

I would like to conclude by mentioning another issue, which is important for Russia and for the G20, i.e. anti-corruption measures. A serious breakthrough was made this year in implementing the G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan. Russia has also put forward a number of initiatives, which were supported by our partners. Speaking about the traditional priorities of the G20 in this area, we approved the guiding principles on combating bribery of foreign public officials, combating solicitation, and mutual legal assistance in corruption-related cases. The G20 completed the establishment of an expert network on the denial of entry to corrupt officials. Russia's initiatives resulted in drafting of the following documents: a review of anti-corruption education practices, a report on combating corruption in selling public-owned properties (which has become especially relevant in the run-up to the Sochi Olympics). Additionally, we have put forward the initiative to establish a Global Alliance for Integrity in Sports jointly with the United Nations. As we speak, Panama is hosting a Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption, which is expected to create a framework for this alliance.

All in all, the St.Petersburg Summit reaffirmed the role of the G20 as the world's leading economic forum, and helped all the participating countries to merge their efforts in promoting strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic growth. The Summit provided all G20 members with clear guidance on managing the economic situation, job creation and attracting investments.

These efforts were strongly facilitated by Russia's commitment to reach out to all concerned parties during its Presidency, including non-G20 countries, international organizations and outreach groups (business, youth, civil society, labour unions, experts and academia), which allowed to significantly increase the transparency and efficiency of the G20 work in 2013. It may sound a little immodest, but it is truly the case, and all our partners can confirm it.

The success of the Russian Presidency became real also due to Russia's ability to help the developed and the developing countries reach common ground, which came about as another major achievement. It is commonly agreed that Russia has delivered on all of its previously announced objectives. Thank you.

Sergei Storchak: Good afternoon, I am glad to see many of my colleagues here, with whom we worked side by side all year, so I'll be brief in my comments. I assume that you remember and are aware of everything that has happened during this year, so I'll just go over some points that you could focus on in your publications as you try to inform the general public about what the year of Russia's G20 Presidency meant for us.

Please note that our next presidency will come more than 20 years from now. Certainly, we gained an invaluable experience. Of course, there will be other people in charge then, but I believe that the Russian Presidency, both the process and the outcome, will record  in the history of financial diplomacy.

Ms. Lukash spoke in detail about the results, including the Financial Track. For me personally, the Group of Twenty is first of all the process. It's an ongoing efforts by the several working groups that monitor the current macroeconomic situation and analyze the economic measures and financial policies accepted within the G20.

While we are summarizing the results of the G20 work, the G20 working group on the implementation of the Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth distributed yesterday its Action Plan for the year of the Australian Presidency. While this is only the first draft of the plan, I can assure you that this is an ambitious project based on the arrangements of the previous five years, including the St.Petersburg Action Plan.

For me, the main outcome of this year's work of the G20 lies in the fact that we as a club proved to ourselves the possibilities of concerted cooperation during the work not only in times of crisis, not only when, as one of the G20 Leaders said, "a house is on fire, and people around grab buckets, shovels or hooks and do whatever they can to put the fire out." We have shown that when protecting national interests and promoting the economic growth come out on top, as well through exports, the G20 countries could agree altogether and follow the path of coordinated and mutually advantageous development. This is important. I believe that this time the skeptics admit that the policy coordination exists, evolves and modernize. Ms. Lukash said that what was new for us is the attempt to coordinate our policies in the area of structural reforms. We have made the first step in this direction. The Australian Presidency is planning to take this step and turn it into an entire movement in order to adopt economic growth strategies within the G20 countries.

With regard to the outcomes of the Financial Track, I believe that Ms. Yudaeva is better talk about financial market regulation as former Sherpa and acting Deputy Chair of the Central Bank. In fact, this part - the financial regulatory reform is becoming her constant job. It is my understanding that she will be Russia's permanent representative to the Steering Committee of the Financial Stability Board, which actually is the main executive body. Only the Financial Stability Board Plenary Meeting is above it (it is the sole decision-making body of the FSB).

The key issue for the Russian Presidency in the Financial Track was a trial to find a compromise between economic growth stimulation measures and measures to restrain the growth of the government debt and to reduce the state budget deficit. We had to walk at the razor's edge, as to reach agreements with all the countries on order to keep a desire continue working together. Hence, we could mention accepted financial strategies that aim at the establishing sustainable trends in developed economies toward reducing debt ratios and entering deficit-free national budgets starting with 2016. How we managed to come to an agreement is still a big mystery for me. I believe that the desire of our colleagues and partners, deputy finance ministers, to find a compromise played a considerable part. We have found the compromise and undertook respective commitments. Now, we can only hope that the macroeconomic situation and the situation on the financial markets will not force countries to back out of their accepted commitments.

Public debt management is a professional issue for me. I am sure you are aware of our legacy. It is not exactly ours, though, it was Mexico that inherited a lot of problems from the French Presidency in the wake of a major sovereign debt crisis in Greece. This ripple effect affected the Mexican Presidency and caused fear that it would touch upon the sensitive topic like an international financial relations or government debts. They deliberately moved aside, preferring not to discuss this issue. However, we took advantage of the situation, when the debt situation in Greece was resolved to a certain degree, and have set an ambitious task to understand the lessons of the 2008-2009 debt crisis in order to change and modernize sovereign debt management practices.

There's a document I have often mentioned, the Guidelines for Public Debt Management. It was prepared 10 years ago by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. We decided to base on this document and make some corrections in its content. There was some skepticism in early 2013, when many of our colleagues were doubtful about our ability to move along this track, because the distinction between debt managers and those involved in fiscal policy was fairly blurry, and debt managers can easily go overboard into things that are beyond their area of responsibility. This has always been pointed out by our most skeptical colleagues in this area. However, today I can tell you that we have managed to reach an agreement, and to introduce about 50 corrections to this document. Also it will have about two dozen new articles on the management of contingent liabilities, which are most commonly associated either with government guarantees or with public-private partnerships. There are new references that point to updated lending documents that are used during the bond issue and the introduction of collective action clauses in the documents. The goal of this work is to create more favorable conditions for the fast acting and low-cost solutions in the debt problems within the sovereign debtors in the future, and to do so at a lower cost for the borrower and its private creditors.

Unfortunately, most media ignored the IMF report of April 2013 about the practical and political role of the Fund in a situation where the number of sovereign borrowers and the amounts of loans placed on financial markets have increased dramatically. The report outlines a new stage in the development of the theory and practice of sovereign debt restructuring regarding to the new trends. I am not sure how the Australian Presidency will handle this issue. It includes many interesting and controversial questions. As a matter of fact, the International Monetary Fund proposes returning to the debate on sovereign debt resolution mechanism. Some time ago, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Anne Krueger came up with the idea of this mechanism. Ten years ago, her initiative was not supported, but following the debt crisis in a number of European countries, the issue resurfaced again. Of course, this issue needs to be promote and examine when  there's no acute phase of crisis in the area of sovereign debt.

Before I conclude, there are two more  issues I would like to touch . The first issue concern with  looking at debt-related matters from the perspective of developed countries that grant loans to low developed countries. The implementation of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative created broad opportunities for private and public lenders in developed countries and emerging markets. Low developed countries had just benefited from debt relief under the HIPC Initiative, and now face with the  debt overhang problem once again. In order to prevent another deadlock, in the aftermath of the Summit we conducted a meeting of G20 members from the Paris Club. The discussion was frank and constructive, that did not expected by many of the participants. It was agreed that maximum attention should be paid to debt sustainability for relatively underdeveloped sovereign borrowers when extending new loans. In order to illustrate the outcomes of this meeting, it should be noted that until then, all attempts to invite emerging economies to the meetings of the Paris Club, which have recently become proactive and even aggressive in lending to developing countries, had failed. However, we somehow succeeded in setting up the  meeting and agreed that it won't be the last one. All in all, discussions on delivering certain rules for export loans and related credit facilities will continue.

The last issue is about the G20's future. Working together with the next G20 presidency  country, we hold a special meeting, a sort of a conference or workshop, inviting  former and current G20 Finance Ministers, to discuss the future of the G20, how it can enhancing  its activities, how to avoid the G20 process from its burocratization, how final statements by G20 Finance Ministers and Leaders can be streamlined. We discussed all these issues and reached the following results. First, we finally came to an agreement that not all priorities of the Presidency should l be included in the agenda of every G20 meeting. For example, I hope that financial regulation will appear on the G20's agenda from time to time and will fade away until new developments unfold. We have agreed that the Sherpa's Track should have a higher  impact on the Financial Track, since Sherpas are closer to Leaders than Finance Ministers and are thereby able to determine the dynamics of the Financial Track, making it more intelligible, first of all  for the Leaders. We also agreed to enhance the role of the Troika and to support good speed of work generated when we have been working with our colleagues from Australia, who were the most active Troika participants this year. I hope that this tradition will carry on. We stand ready to lend a hand to Australia during its G20 Presidency.

I will be happy to take other questions later on. It is clear there are a wide range of subjects. Tax-related issues are particularly observed . So many issues have been raised in this respect that I can hardly imagine how long it will take the G20 to develop and implement better arrangements, especially when it comes to put an end to tax evasion through double taxation agreements or new decisions on the  electronic or digital economy.

Thank you for your attention. I'll stop here. Let's move on to specific questions. Thank you.

KseniaYudaeva: First of all, I would like to congratulate Svetlana Lukash on her appointment. I think she is the right person for the job. Most of you know Svetlana Lukash, she has been serving as Sherpa Assistant for five years and she has been the key person managing Russia's G20 Presidency. I think the G20 is now in safe hands, so congratulations to Svetlana.

Second, I would like to congratulate all of us, my team, on the completion of the Presidency, and to thank everyone. In the first place, Svetlana Lukash; Sergei Storchak because without the Finance Ministry the G20 would not have been what it is; Oleg Tsatsurin, who is present here and in his person the entire Press Service of the Russian President, which has been helping us actively on numerous occasions. Representatives of the Y20 Russia 2013 are also present here, as well as representatives of the Expert Council, we have worked closely with the Business 20 and the Labour 20, and I would like to congratulate you all on a successful completion of the year. I think it has been a very successful Presidency because we have attained the goals that we initially set.

Moving on to the G20. First of all, I would like to remind you that this year marked the G20's fifth anniversary. This is the time to assess what has already been achieved, time for revision and perhaps for redefining the agenda. In fact, this is what actually happened under the Russian Presidency. As you know, several accountability reports on the activities of the G20 have been prepared. In addition, a revision of the agenda occurred with its focus shifted. In previous five years, although the G20 had slightly different priorities each year, its main focus in one way or another was anti-crisis measures. I think that starting from our Presidency, and I am already aware of the plans for the Australian Presidency, the G20 will concentrate more on the new development agenda and partially, especially on the finance track, on exit from the anti-crisis mode. These themes were introduced during the Russian Presidency.

An attempt to do the same was made much earlier, in Toronto, but at that time it came to nothing due to appearance of a new anti-crisis agenda. Of course, anything may happen, but still I believe that we have passed the turning point, and it happened during the Russian Presidency. I think that this turning point has been passed thanks to the way we determined the agenda.

We decided to change the tradition of previous years when minor specific priorities were chosen, which ended up being dwarfed by some pressing crises based issues of the moment. We defined a broad agenda that everyone is concerned with, and that is economic growth, investments, employment and a number of related issues. It began its life in the different tracks of the G20 and, as I understand, it will live on. Previous similar attempts were made as well, but these issues were really put on the agenda under our Presidency. That is why the final documents areas are in correspondence with our priorities, with the key themes of our Presidency. They have been taken up by the next Presidency, which means that we have ensured another big thing, which is continuity.

We were in a dialogue with Australia in the Troika format discussing that it is desirable to ensure continuity of presidencies and, in general, how to make the whole process continuous so that the issues were not dropped each year. We have succeeded and of course we are grateful to Australia for supporting this idea and for being determined to actively promote this approach during its presidency.

Another point of a very general character that I would like to mention refers to how Russia benefited from its Presidency. I have mentioned it on numerous occasions and I would like to repeat it once again, Russia became the first non-OECD country to chair the G20. So the G20 has played a fairly important role in terms of enhancing the authority of Russia and all non-OECD members of the G20 as countries that are capable of organizing such serious events, not only events, but the process, as Sergei Storchak has fairly noted. The Presidency is a process and the Summit is its outcome, though events are certainly the key element of the process, the whole Presidency requires much effort.

During our Presidency we held more than 50 events at different levels. They were all a very serious challenge. I mean all the work to organize the process, to structure and implement the agenda through all the working groups that were involved in this process. It was a feature of the Russian Presidency that we determined some basic principles and made them through all the working groups, not vice versa. Key to this that we decided it was possible to add some new groups to the process. This was our distinctive feature. We feel that we have succeeded and this is very rewarding.

Incidentally, as we heard a lot, especially during the Summit, the agenda has slightly shifted from economics to politics. This was done by the decision of the Russian President, and in my opinion it also contributed to the success of the Russian Presidency, and gave a boost to Russia's political weight. Now we know that it was the discussions on the summit's sidelines that played a key role in reformatting the approach to one of the key international problems. One can see it as the success not so much of the Presidency as of the Summit in solving concrete issues. Svetlana Lukash has already said that we have worked actively with the outreach partners made good progress in that area as well.

Finally, I would like to say a few words about how the G20 decisions are being implemented. This work is surely less visible. That is why it is often questioned whether there is a need for the G20 at all. We all get together, adopt some decisions, write some papers, but what next? There are many technical details in the process that attract far less interest. That is basically why the results are always less visible than declarations.

I now work at the Central Bank of Russia, and in my daily practical work I definitely feel the presence of G20 in my life. The Central Bank is actively involved in the work of international financial institutions, many of which have been created and are operating under the G20 mandate, including the Financial Stability Board, IOSCO and other financial regulators that are currently doing a lot of serious work, firstly, to elaborate reform packages for the financial system, and secondly, to coordinate and implement them. As a Central Bank official, I have to participate in the process of drafting these decisions, and there has been much talk about the position of such countries as Russia, which do not have highly developed financial markets, hence special approach is needed to apply these general principles in our new system. I also have to promote putting these principles into practice. I have a unit that lets me know that by decision of the Financial Stability Board we must do this and that, and we can implement it in such or different way. We discuss these issues with other units, make the Governor aware of them, and follow them through. That is, actually, the life of the institutions that are really engaged in this work. The G20 plays in their lives a colossal role on a day-to-day basis, and its impact is felt even years after some fundamental decisions had been taken, making a difference to the activities of all concrete institutions. And this was brought home very forcefully to me in my practical activities.

Moderator: I am now passing the floor to the Ambassador Paul Myler. We would like to ask you to share your impressions of Russia's G20 Presidency. What will Australia's main priorities be? Which of the priorities that Russia stressed during the year will you take on board?

Paul Myler: Thank you very much. I would like to congratulate the Russian Federation on its highly successful Presidency of the G20.

Ksenia Yudayeva has said that this was the 5th anniversary Summit, we have managed to make it through a very lengthy crisis and now we have to work on building a long-term agenda. Many would say it is a very boring business. So we would like to attract the interest of the Leaders to the formation of this long-term agenda and make long-term planning a common practice.

Creating new jobs and supporting growth is the theme that will certainly be carried over into 2014. I am not going to go into detail regarding the priorities for the following year because the Australian Prime Minister will make an official announcement next week. But we would like to concentrate first of all on building up economic growth and job creation, these are the key elements. Likewise, taxation and finding new sources of growth in order to make progress in the areas of concern, as well as making the global economy more resilient will be high on the agenda. It is important to be able to cope better with the crises we faced in the previous years.

One the other note, I would like to applaud the role of the Russian team in preserving the spirit of the G20 and coping with all the problems that have arisen. They have made full use of the Troika, a mechanism that ensures continuity of the agenda. This is a very good level of communication and exchange of information and cooperation. We are of course glad that Svetlana Lukash will be a member of our Troika this year, along with Sergei Storchak. We will work within the Troika with our Turkish colleagues. What is really important is that the document appearing at the end of the year should not just be meaningful and strong, this document should be implemented.

As has already been said here, the issue of Syria came to the fore during the Leaders' Summit. We support the interest of the Leaders in international issues and give them the opportunity to speak about what is on the edge of their interest. The discussion at the St.Petersburg Summit was very interesting. Many heads of state and ministers were present there. You could virtually hear the change in the mood, they left aside their prepared notes and were ready to get involved in a lively discussion on the issue that concerned everyone.

So it is really important for us to take the themes that were put on the agenda during the Russian Presidency, such as tax evasion and the issue of property, and to look into all this from the perspective of its impact on the global economy. Because countries lose a lot due to tax evasion, they lose even more than they can get through taxes. This is a very important matter for us, and we should concentrate on it. We also have the issues of tax holidays, profits shifting and the issues dealing with investments, especially long-term investments. These themes could have been easily handed over to the World Bank and the IMF. But Russia has managed to raise the issue of investment in infrastructure in such manner that it didn't go down to the request for more money, but to making infrastructure investment projects more attractive, which is the next level. That is very important. That is how the discussion evolved and I think that is very valuable. We hope that this theme will be continued next year.

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