When the G20 Summit opens in eastern China’s city of Hangzhou in September, Africa and least developed countries will not attend as mere spectators but as participants, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi pledged on Thursday.
The G20, an acronym for the ‘Group of Twenty’ major economies worldwide, is an international forum for discussing global economic governance and cooperation.
The 2016 summit will be hosted by China on September 4 and 5, the first time for a developing country, marking a shift in global market positioning and thinking.
Wang Yi told journalists during the briefing in Beijing on preparations for the summit that the year’s summit will have the biggest representation of developing countries in G20 history.
He also promised that China will spearhead investment and development in Africa and least developed countries and entreat the G20 members to support their industrialization.
"China expects G20 members to help these countries industrialize in a sustainable way and reduce poverty through capacity building, investment and improving infrastructure," he stated.
China is Africa’s largest trading partner and the Asian country has committed $60b in development support for the continent’s industrialisation drive.
Africa is not only the fastest growing continent but it is also home to some of emerging markets with potential to drive global economic growth and development.
Most African countries are at initial stages of industrialisation but are still held back by the core challenges pertaining to infrastructure, capital, technology and security.
For many years, selected African leaders and institutions have been invited to G20 summits as observers, even though collectively the continent holds promise as a major world player.
Wang Yi maintained that the G20 must not care for the interests of the major powers alone but also the globe. This year, there will be 66 formal activities of the G20 spread across 20 cities.
Popular lobby groups such as B20, L20, T20 will also convene to prepare policy recommendations on the sidelines and during the G20 Summit.
Spotlight on China
The 2016 summit will take place in the same year China’s economy is undergoing reform to cut excess supply challenges largely in its manufacturing sectors.
According to the minister, China will focus on innovation, reform and development at the upcoming G20 summit to revive the global economic growth.
China is turning to hi-tech industries and encouraging entrepreneurship to create new opportunities for new industrial revolution and global digital economy, he explained.
Promoting global economic governance, international financial stability and revitalizing trade and investment are some of the key priority areas for China in its reform, Wang elaborated.