Turkey 2016 | DIPLOMACY | FOCUS: G20

Turkey assumed the presidency of the G20 in 2014 and is blazing a pioneering path at the helm.

In December 2014, Turkey took over the presidency of the G20. Since then, several meetings at the highest level have taken place in Turkey and many more are scheduled before the G-20 Leaders Summit in Antalya on November 15 and 16, 2015.

Under the motto “collective action for inclusive and robust growth,” the Turkish Presidency has three pillars in its 2015 agenda; namely enhancing resilience, strengthening global recovery and lifting potential, and buttressing sustainability. The focus of the agenda targets SMEs and low-income developing countries (LIDCs). The Turkish presidency of the G20 aims to be remembered for the three I's; inclusiveness, implementation, and investment.

The inclusiveness pillar refers to an approach whereby the LIDC have their voice heard by the economic powers that be, while, internally, Turkish SMEs receive higher regulatory support for growth. This is expected to create equal opportunities and to enhance income distribution within countries and across economies. In terms of the second pillar, Turkey aims to transform 2015 into the “year of implementation,” referring to consensus reached in previous G20 presidencies. Those include the Brisbane Action Plan and other commitments that are expected to add $2 trillion to the global economy and to create millions of jobs by 2018. The final pillar, investment, involves unlocking the potential of the private sector in actively contributing to development in all sectors of a country's economy. This is expected to close the infrastructure investment gaps that currently exist.

The Turkish economy will also benefit from its G20 presidency. The advantages will come mostly in the shape of FDI and support for energy projects in the country. The inflow of foreign investment in Turkey reached almost $13 billion in 2014 and Prime Minister Davutoğlu has already promised further simplification to the process of investing in Turkey. With several energy projects in Turkey contributing to the energy security of Europe, the country is increasing its geopolitical importance while showcasing itself as a guarantor of stability and a peaceful energy hub for its European allies.

Turkey is well aware that the agreements reached by the 19 largest economies of the world and the EU are known for representing highly important commitments with a wide impact in the world's economy. With this in mind, Turkey is setting ambitious targets for its presidency. Those targets concern not only financial issues, but also important environmental and social challenges. As Prime Minister Davutoğlu said, “I will call on all of the leaders of the G20 to act as if we are economic leaders of humanity.” In this regard, the Turkish presidency wants to make sure that issues like access to energy, climate change, LIDCs, and youth and female unemployment are discussed at the highest levels to ensure long-lasting, global commitments.

To enhance the legitimacy of the G20 as the premier forum for global economic policy, Turkey invited Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, and the chairs of ASEAN, the African Union, and NEPAD to participate in the 2015 G20 meetings. Also, the engagement groups of the G20 are crucial to communicating to political leaders the view of their stakeholders. Those groups include the Business-20, the Civil-20, the Labor-20, the Think-20, and the Youth-20.

Turkey's first presidency of the G20 is planned to significantly enhance the way the rest of the world sees the forum. Turkey aims to legitimize the group as the leaders of humanity by being the voice of the non-represented nations. The government is keen that the G20 acts collectively in 2015, stimulating inclusive and robust growth in a strong and sustainable way.