G20 leaders meet in Osaka

G20 leaders meet in Osaka

The G20 Summit will take place this week on 28 and 29 June in Osaka, Japan. The top themes of this year’s summit will be the global economy, trade and investment, innovation and environment and energy.

The ongoing US-China trade war will dominate discussion, with any statement by President Trump or Xi Jinping likely to be closely watched by governments and investors alike, for a sense of the global economic outlook. The US and China are coming under increased pressure to ease their escalating trade and technology contest, with a bilateral meeting between the two premiers scheduled for Saturday. The Japanese Presidency of the G20 will attempt to steer the world’s most powerful economies away from confrontation, and stressed the importance of any measures complying with WTO rules. Commentators are not optimistic about the likelihood of a resolution between the two sides, with an agreement to actively resume talks thought to be the most likely positive outcome.

Migration from South America is likely to be discussed as Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sent a letter to other G20 leaders citing challenges over migration as its principal focus. Also on the agenda will be rising tensions between the US and Iran. A series of incidents in the gulf have led to escalating rhetoric, with the US pulling back from the brink of armed conflict in recent days. President Macron will meet President Trump on Friday, the French leader attempting to decrease tensions between the two sides.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that ‘the liberal idea’ had ‘outlived its purpose’ in an interview on the eve of the Summit. President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, strongly disagreed with the assertion of the Russian President that the public was turning about open borders, immigration and multiculturalism. Mr. Tusk stated that Europe will univocally defend and promote liberal democracy and remarked that ‘authoritarianism, personality cults, the rule of oligarchs’ was obsolete.

French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that France would not accept a G20 statement that does not include reference to the 2015 Paris Agreement. This is likely to lead to disagreement with the United States, who pulled out of the pact in 2017.