Whilst Europe grapples with the ballooning migrant crisis and whilst in Syria the conflict continues to escalate, the leaders of twenty of the World’s most developed economies sat down together in Turkey.
A fitting location since Turkey holds a strategically key position: It is the gateway to Europe and borders numerous of the currently unstable Middle-Eastern countries – many of whose citizens are eager to seek a better future in Europe (often via Turkey). Turkey thus is an indispensable partner for trying to resolve both the immediate problems of Syria conflict and the migration.
Furthermore, just days after the Paris bombings, terrorism was a key issue affecting many of the countries present at the talks. The Paris bombings (the worst in France’s recent history) took place almost exactly one month after the Ankara bombings in October (also the worst in Turkey’s recent history). Both attacks have allegedly had links to the Islamic State.
Regarding the Syria conflict and terrorism, Turkey will be particularly wary about any resolution since it borders Syria and is especially cautious of the emergence of Kurdish independence.
The G20 and the 3I
The Group of Twenty (G20), represents 85% of the world’s economy, 75% of the world’s trade and 65% of the world’s population. The significance of these talks cannot be understated.
Despite the ongoing crises, the key aims are: Inclusiveness, implementation and investment for growth – the three ‘I’s of the Turkish G20 presidency. These themes are at the heart of discussions taking place at outreach group meetings and the G20 summit itself.
Predictions about an imminent global financial melt down are yet to take place. Turkey’s currency, however, did recently depreciate due to the financial market’s uncertainty related to the earlier hung parliament. Surprisingly, the Turkish Lira strengthened after the results of the recent re-elections. Although global financial investors may not view Erdogan’s reelection favourably, there is at least stability and the foundations for the Turkish economy still remain strong.
For 2015, only India, China and Indonesia are showing stronger growth. The forecasts for 2017 indicate that the growth should continue to grow.
Turkey’s forecast to have the largest growth amongst the OECD.
However, as pointed out by Erdogan at the talks:
— Turkish Presidency (@trpresidency) November 15, 2015
Some key quotes from Erdogan: “The primary objective of the G20 is enabling strong, sustainable and balanced growth. During the G20 Turkish Presidency, we have incorporated inclusive growth into these main goals. This was mainly because of our belief that the G20 should contribute to efforts to address rising inequalities, as well as injustices in various areas.”
“Without ensuring global peace and stability, we cannot talk about a strong global economy. Therefore, the G20 does not have the luxury of overlooking the issues that directly affect global stability.’ In this understanding, we discussed terrorism and the refugee crisis during the Summit in addition to financial matters. Turkey well knows what terrorism is. We have been facing the severe consequences of terror since 1970s.”