The summit participants discussed investment and job creation, among other issues.
The discussion then continued in working breakfast format with the participation of invited heads of state and international organisations.
* * *
Speech at the second working session of G20 leaders
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, let’s get ready for today’s work.
In fact, this work has already begun. We met this morning with representatives of the Business 20 and Labour 20. Some of you took part in this meeting, in any case.
The subject of our meeting today is investing in stimulating economic growth and job creation.
We worked very productively yesterday, focusing primarily on the global economy and sustainable development issues. Today, we will talk about investing in economic growth and creating jobs.
This is a priority on the G20 agenda this year and the main issue receiving our closest attention. We need not only to protect ourselves against any recurrences of the crisis, but also ensure the global economy’s stable long-term growth and sustainable development, and we can achieve this only through development. This is why the G20 countries and the entire world need new growth sources.
At the same time, despite all the measures taken, unemployment levels in the G20 countries are still higher than they were before the crisis. The situation differs from one country to another, but there are a number of very serious problems that affect most of the G20 countries.
Youth unemployment is still very high, and structural unemployment is becoming an increasingly serious issue. The number of qualified specialists who cannot find jobs in their field is also growing all the time.
The spread of informal employment is having a negative impact on workers and their families. Their living standards are falling and social protection is declining, and in countries where tax revenues and pension contributions are shrinking this creates new budgetary constraints.
But employment policy cannot and should not be the task of only the state agencies responsible for social policy. It is clear that real change in labour and employment requires a system-wide approach.
We cannot create high-quality jobs separately from our overall national economic development efforts. We need to work comprehensively, taking into account macroeconomic, financial and social conditions.
Our experts are unanimous that one of the key factors in the economic slowdown and stagnation in employment was a significant drop in long-term investment. Overall, we see a whole series of problems: fragmentation in the European Union’s banking system, a shrinking fiscal base, development banks’ lower lending potential, and more stringent financial regulation. It is for these reasons that Russia proposed that we search for new sources of funding for investment.
We are grateful to our G20 colleagues and the international organisations for their broad support for this agenda, including by carrying out comprehensive analysis of the key factors that have an impact on mobilising internal resources and ensuring long-term financing.
The points I want to stress in particular are, first, that the international organisations, headed by the World Bank, have drafted a combined report that analyses the main causes for the decrease in investment financing and investigates the factors that are an obstacle to improving the investment climate.
Second, a special study group has been set up to examine investment financing issues. It has already collected information on different countries’ experience and practice in stimulating long-term investment.
Finally, a programme has been drafted for carrying out studies and drawing up concrete recommendations on improving the investment climate and stimulating investment flows.
The G20 experts, together with the OECD, have drafted the High-Level Principles of Long-Term Investment Financing by Institutional Investors. It is of key importance for us to stimulate these kinds of investors – insurance companies and pension funds.
They are putting a lot of effort into investing in our countries and we must give them the conditions they need for their work. After all, their activity is focused on the long term, and the amount of resources at their disposal comes to around $90 trillion, according to figures from 2012.
A G20 Action Plan to support development of local currency bond markets and recommendations on conducting market diagnostics for local currency bond markets were drafted. Bonds issued in local currency are an important source of financing for long-term internal investment, above all in infrastructure.
In this respect we support carrying out institutional and regulatory reforms designed to establish the conditions needed for developing these markets.
It is important that the Financial Stability Board carries out regular monitoring of how financial regulation reform is affecting access to long-term investment financing.
We need to make consistent progress in all of these areas. We are expecting concrete proposals from the World Bank on the global investment mechanism concept. I am sure that the work in this area will continue with success under the Australian G20 presidency next year.
I want to raise another important issue. Traditionally, the G20 agenda has devoted much attention to the energy sector, the situation on raw materials markets, green growth and climate change. This is understandable given that people’s quality of life depends directly on reliable and affordable energy supplies and on environmental security.
Colleagues, I propose that we discuss all of the issues I have just outlined.