Global Governance Group calls on G20 to strengthen global trade cooperation, reduce barriers

A container ship arrives in a port in Singapore.
A container ship arrives in a port in Singapore.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The Global Governance Group (3G), a group of small countries including Singapore, has called on leaders of the world's biggest economies to strengthen international trade and investment cooperation, as well as reduce trade barriers and protectionism.

The 3G made the call to leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) nations ahead of their summit, which will be held in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday (July 7) and Saturday.

The 3G, in a press statement released on Wednesday (July 5) by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , also welcomed the G20 agenda under Germany's Presidency to pursue three aims: building resilience, improving sustainability, and assuming responsibility.

Expressing its support of the G20's efforts to complement the United Nations' (UN) development agenda, the 3G welcomed the Hamburg Update - which built on the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the Hangzhou Summit last year.

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While current growth prospects are generally encouraging, the 3G called on the G20 to continue to undertake macroeconomic and structural policy actions to support sustainable and inclusive growth. It highlighted the G20's focus on digitalisation as a driver to boost long-term economic employment prospects, especially for youth.

The 3G also stressed that an open and resilient international financial system is crucial to supporting sustainable growth and development.

It said it looks forward to the G20's leadership in making the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a success.

On climate change, the 3G encouraged G20 members to tackle the challenges, and reaffirmed 3G's own commitment to the Paris Agreement.

On addressing global health issues, the 3G said it had contributed a paper on Preparedness against Public Health Threats this year to advance discussions at the G20 Health Ministers Meeting. The 3G also praised the G20's commitment to continue dialogue on global health matters during Argentina's Presidency in 2018.

The 3G comprises 30 small- and medium-sized UN members, including Brunei, Chile, Finland, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.