C20 Finance WG background information & brief update
EN - Dear C20 Finance WG colleagues,
We hope this message finds you well! Welcome to the first step of the C20 Finance WG process. Let us start with a gentle reminder as the first WG call will be held on Tuesday, March 16, at 2PM CET (expected length 90 min). Kindly register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Here some information in preparation for our discussion.
- Concept of C20 and proposed working modalities
The driving concept of the Italian C20 is to build on the solid foundations generated by the past C20 processes and attempt to engage in much more extensive and coordinated advocacy efforts. Regarding the finance track, the policy recommendations that were generated during the Saudi presidency (attached) remain largely valid, though they would of course need to be revisited and adjusted to the new circumstances, such as the establishment of the G20 Common Framework, among others. Such a revisitation and further development should happen with the highest possible coherence and synergy with existing economic justice platforms and their advocacy efforts. This is particularly important as the global advocacy space with the G20 remains extremely limited; most sessions happen under closed doors and the opportunity to engage with the actual policy process are scarce. Engaging with the Host Country is important but there is little hope that ideas shared with the Presidency will actually be transmitted to the other negotiations. Advocacy therefore requires coordinated engagement with G20 countries as well as strong mediatic/communication pressure. Hence, the need for greater coordination with national platforms in synergy with existing campaigning efforts.
- Brief information on the G20 Finance Track & recent updates
The G20 Finance Track refers to the meetings coordinated by the Ministries of Economy and Finance and the respective Central Banks which are related to economic, financial, monetary and tax issues. The Track is structured into five separate working groups (text taken by the G20 website):
- The Framework Working Group (FWG) monitors the evolution of the global economic outlook, while coordinating policies aimed at underpinning a strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth. In the wake of the crisis caused by the pandemic, the primary goal of the FWG is to advance economic policy proposals to sustain the global recovery. To this end, the FWG contributes to updating the G20 Action Plan and monitoring progress in implementation;
- The International Financial Architecture (IFA) Working Group works to enhance stability and cohesion of the international financial system. It addresses the challenges related to debt sustainability and transparency; strengthening global financial safety nets; volatile capital flows and associated risks; financing for development in low-income countries; coordination between international financial institutions, including multilateral development banks. It is Co-Chaired by South Korea and France;
- The Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) advises on policies to improve preparation, financing and management of quality infrastructure investments to secure the provision of inclusive, sustainable and resilient basic infrastructure services to all. The Group aims to tackle the persistent gap in infrastructure investment, also by promoting them as an asset class as to stimulate private sector involvement. It is Co-Chaired by Australia and Brazil;
- In 2010, the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion was created to advance financial inclusion globally as a mean of increasing well-being and achieving a sustainable and inclusive growth. The focus of its action is to enhance the access to, and the use of, responsible formal financial services – also through digital means – for families and businesses. It also helps to promote an adequate financial education and to strengthen financial consumer protection;
- The Africa Advisory Group (AAG) is responsible, since 2017, for leading the G20 Compact with Africa, with the aim of improving the environment for private investment in African countries and fostering growth and sustainable development. This informal body is co-chaired by Germany and South Africa, and comprises some G20 members, the African Compact Countries, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other stakeholders such as the EU Commission and the OECD. The AAG meets twice a year to monitor progresses made by Compact Countries and suggest new policy recommendations based on the Compact Monitoring Report;
- The Finance Track also includes groups on financial regulation and taxation, though these are less formalized than the 5 core WGs;
- The Italian Presidency has proposed to re-establish the Sustainable Finance Study Group and the proposal was endorsed. The Study Group will be co-chaired by USA and China, with UNDP serving as Secretariat. The agenda is being elaborated though it will presumably tackle to two tracks, including (1) issues related to indicators, data & taxonomies (data quality on environmental risk, taxonomy, ESG indicators, etc.) and (2) normative/political workstream environmental taxation, carbon prices, etc. A key event associated to the Study Group will be the G20 Venice Conference on Climate (July 11). The Study Group might be transformed in a fully-fledged WG at the April session;
- The Italian Presidency established the High-Level Independent Panel on the financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, which will be supported by a Project Team constituted by Bruegel and the Center for Global Development, and an Administrative Secretariat from the US National Academy of Medicine and Wellcome Trust:
- First Meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors
The first meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was held on February 26. As expected, no communique was issued. Here a few references:
- Please find here the press release of the Italian Ministry of Finance:
- Some video footings can also be found on the G20 webite:
- And I am sure most of you have seen the IMF MD statement:
- And the US Treasure letter prior to the G20 Meeting:
- C20 Finance WG
The C20 Finance WG is an umbrella WG that aims to follow all relevant G20 Finance Track workstreams, with special reference to the IFA WG and the Infrastructure WG, as well as the Trade & Investment WG (even if this is maintained within the G20 Sherpa Track). Considering the wide mandate, the WG maintains two focal points to interface with the G20 Infrastructure WG (Maria Jose Romero of Eurodad) and the G20 Trade & Investment WG (Monica Di Sisto, Fair Watch). While all C20 participating organizations interested to follow these issues have been invited to join the C20 Finance WG, we might decide to establish separate working lists for infrastructure and trade respectively, should this be considered necessary and useful. But the objection is to maintain an overall coherence on all macro-economic issues by operating under one comprehensive umbrella. Indeed, it would be essential to have a systemic and comprehensive approach that could bridge some of the challenges of policy fragmentation, such as the different angles of the infrastructure financing agenda (the development finance concerns, the climate/green angle, and the human rights angle) and the investment side of the trade agenda, including the link with the capital account liberalization, in addition to immediate priorities related to TRIPS and ISDS moratorium. At the same time, we need to explore the close interface with all other WGs (anticorruption, gender, digitalization, climate, health, development and global citizenship). The Sustainable Finance Study Group provides for a close interaction with both the C20 Climate WG and the C20 Development WG, while the joint Health-Finance Ministerial and the High-Level Panel both require a close interface with the C20 Health WG, among others. Having said all this, we also need to avoid getting lost in macro systems and remain tangibly connected to an actionable advocacy agenda in the G20 context.
We hope this information may help preparing for the Tuesday call and look forward to a vibrant discussion!
Cheers, Stefano & Patricia
C20 Finance WG Co-Coordinators