Egypt and the G20
Reviewed by: Wafaa El-houseiny
Translated by: Nour Elhoda Adel Gaffar
Egypt and the G20
The Group of Twenty: It is a forum that includes a group of developed countries worldwide. It was founded in 1999, after the Asian financial crisis, as a forum for finance ministers and central bank governors to discuss global economic and financial issues. The beginning was during the G7 Cologne Summit in June 1999, and it was officially founded at the meeting of G7 finance ministers on September 26, 1999. The inaugural meeting was held on December 15 and 16, 1999, in Berlin, Germany.
In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, the G20 meetings were elevated to the level of heads of state and government, in the early days of the financial crisis, after it became clear that crisis coordination would only be possible at the highest political level. Since then, G20 leaders have met regularly, and their annual summit has become the central forum for international economic cooperation.
The G20 consists of most of the world's major economies, including the industrialized countries. It consists of 19 countries in addition to the presidency of the European Union, bringing the number of members to 20, namely: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with the participation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the United Nations.
G20 member states account for nearly 90% of global gross domestic product, 80% of global trade (including EU internal trade), and two-thirds of the world's population.
The members of G20 are geographically distributed as follows: the Asian continent is represented by China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. As for Africa, it is represented by South Africa only, while South America is represented by Argentina and Brazil. Europe is represented by four countries of the European Union, these countries also represent themselves individually, namely Britain, France, Italy, and Germany, in addition to Russia, and Turkey. North America is represented by the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and the continent of Australia is represented by Australia.
The G20 countries are divided according to the following groupings: three NAFTA countries (North American Free Trade Agreement), two Common Market countries (European Economic Community), four EU countries (countries that represent their own themselves individually at the same time), and three member states from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The G20 is not an international organization; it has no administrative structures of its own, no permanent secretariat for its members, and no permanent representation of members. This is why its presidency rotates annually and the heads of state participating in the summit have the right to invite leaders from outside the group. Its decisions are not legally binding, nor does it adopt decisions that have direct legal effect, and member states make voluntary commitments. However, reaching a consensus on international issues remains difficult in the group because it includes geopolitical competitors such as the United States and China.
The G20 aims to strengthen and develop the global economy, in addition to reforming international financial institutions and improving the financial system. It also focuses on supporting global economic growth, developing job opportunity mechanisms, activating open trade initiatives, bringing together the economic systems of developing countries and important industrialized countries, and organizing discussions on the main issues related to the global economy.
The G20 is an informal forum that supports constructive and open discussions among prominent market countries and industrialized countries on key issues related to global economic stability. By contributing to the strengthening of the global financial architecture and providing opportunities for dialogue on the countries' internal policies, and international cooperation among them and on the international financial institutions, the G20 supports the movement of economic growth and development around the world.
The most visible part of the work of the G20 since 2008, is the Summit of Heads of State and Government organized by the country holding the presidency. Additional meetings on fiscal policy issues are organized, and attended by finance ministers and central bank governors under each presidency, and at the summit, leaders issue a final statement based on meetings held throughout the year.
In 2017, during the presidency of the Federal Republic of Germany at the G20 Summit, the G20 partnership initiative with Africa was launched to improve the conditions of private investment and job opportunities in Africa in cooperation with African countries, under the title "Compact with Africa". The initiative brings together the concerned African countries, the World Bank, the IMF, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and other bilateral and multilateral partners to develop and support the necessary policies and measures to attract private investments. So far, 12 countries have joined this initiative (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, Togo, Burkina Faso) in addition to (South Africa as the African member of the G20). They outlined their aspirations and reform programs under a framework adopted by G20 finance ministers in March 2017.
This initiative differs from previous initiatives in terms of its clear and explicit focus on facilitating private investments. Rather than relying on public aid flows, it seeks to create a new momentum in which African governments work with their partners to carry out the reforms necessary to attract private domestic and foreign investments. The initiative reflects the lack of public resources, and that growth led by the private sector alone can meet the hopes and aspirations of the African continent and its youth to provide enough well-paying jobs.
Initial reform proposals in these countries have encouraged and motivated development partners to provide new and additional technical and operational support. However, for the Initiative countries to achieve their desired objectives, it is necessary to move from actions that focus mainly on the 20 governments of the G20 countries. They should encourage and motivate their private sector to show greater interest in the opportunities available in African economies.
On October 27, 2018, the activities of the mini-summit of African leaders and heads of state and government who are members of the G20 German Initiative for Partnership with Africa, which was called for by the German Chancellor, were launched in Berlin, Germany.
Egypt's participation in G20 Summits
On the 4th and 5th of September, 2016, Egypt participated in the eleventh summit of the G20, which was held in Hangzhou, eastern China, under the theme "Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy", with a delegation headed by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, at the invitation of China, which chaired the group in this session. Egypt had participated among the G20 countries in preparing for the meeting of this summit.
On June 12, 2017, Egypt participated in the German-African Summit held in the German capital Berlin under the theme "G20 Africa Partnership - Investing in a Common Future" in the presence of the heads of state and governments of the leading African countries, in addition to the heads of the World Bank, the IMF and the AfDB.
On October 30, 2018, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, as Chairman of the African Union (AU), participated in the activities of the mini-summit of African leaders and heads of state and government who are members of the G20 Initiative for Partnership with Africa.
In 2019, Egypt, having assumed the presidency of the AU, was invited to participate in the fourteenth summit of the G20, which was chaired by Japan and hosted by the Japanese city of Osaka on June 28 and 29.
In November 2019, the G20 Africa Partnership Initiative was launched with the participation of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, under the theme "Europe and Africa - Equal and Lasting Partners."
On August 27, 2021, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi participated via video conference in the fourth summit of the G20 Africa Partnership Initiative, which is organized annually by Germany with the participation of a group of African heads of state and government and members of the G20, as well as the heads of several international institutions who are partners in the initiative.
List of summits held by G20 and the countries that have hosted it since 2008:
- Washington, United States, in November 2008.
- London, UK, in April 2009.
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, in September 2009.
- Toronto, Canada, in June 2010.
- Seoul, South Korea, in November 2010.
- Cannes, France, in November 2011.
- Los Cabos, Mexico, in 2012.
- St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2013.
- Brisbane, Australia, in 2014.
- Antalya, Turkey, in 2015.
- Hangzhou, China, in 2016.
- Hamburg, Germany, in 2017.
- Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2018.
- Osaka, Japan, in 2019.
- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2020.
- Rome, Italy, in 2021.
- Bali, Indonesia, in 2022.
The G20 summit website
The Presidency of the Arab Republic of Egypt website
The Egyptian State Information Service website