Turkey assumed presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20) for 2015 and the 2015 annual meeting of G20 heads of government will be held in Antalya in November 2015. During the 2014 annual G20 meeting in Brisbane, Australia, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu outlined Turkey’s priorities for its G20 presidency.
In his piece for the Lowry Institute, Tristam Sainsbury writes that “Davutoglu has left no doubt the 2015 G20 presidency will be a philosophical, symbolic and practical move away from the ‘narrow agenda focused on economic fundamentals’ that the Australian presidency has championed.” The author writes that Turkey plans on tackling global issues that extend beyond the G20, highlighting Davutoglu’s statements about the links between economic and political issues in an interconnected world.
Sainsbury outlines an “ambitious” seven priorities Turkey will pursue in its 2015 G20 presidency. The first of its priorities is development, as Davutoglu stressed that the G20 needs to do more to resolve challenges that prevent less developed countries from integrating into the global economy. Its second priority is trade, calling for a reinvigoration of the multilateral trading system; its third priority is to create quality jobs that allow women and young people to join the workforce. Subsequent priorities include focusing on issues affecting small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurship and encouraging greater cooperation between investment banks, respectively. Repositioning the energy agenda to have more of a development focus and stressing the need for high level direction in climate change negotiations round out Turkey’s seven priorities. The author notes that in addition to their stated priorities, Turkey will continue to push on with multi-year items such as tax and growth strategies.
Sainsbury concludes his piece by questioning the effectiveness of Turkey’s ambition in tackling so many issues, noting that Australia’s 2014 presidency was praised for refocusing the G20 on specific issues. As Turkey attempts to gain greater market access and integration with Europe and to establish its identity within the international community, its geographic location means it is implicated in a number of regional issues that crucially impact geopolitics. For a closer look at Turkey’s priorities for the G20, Davutglu’s speech at the most recent World Economic Forum annual meeting can be viewed here.
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Sainsbury, Tristram. “Turkey Sets Its G20 Agenda for 2015.” The Lowy Interpreter. N.p., 14 Nov. 2014. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.