As heads of state descend on Japan, all eyes will be on the US and its various crises with other member states, from China to Russia and even Turkey.
This year’s G20 summit will see Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcoming world leaders to Osaka, Japan.
The summit will seek to tackle a broad range of issues, including removing barriers to economic growth, how the world will adapt to the data revolution and combating climate change.
Xi and Trump
Trade talks between the first and second largest economy in the world could overshadow the G20 summit as international markets look for signs of a breakthrough.
The ongoing US-led trade war against China has seen the Trump administration slap tariffs on more than $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. China, for its part, has retaliated with more than $100 billion worth of tariffs.
Japanese officials have attempted to temper optimism, saying: “There probably will not be a breakthrough.”
It will be crucial to see even if there is no breakthrough whether the leaders can breathe life back into the talks and build momentum towards a final agreement.
Trump and Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet his US counterpart, President Donald Trump in Japan this weekend.
The two allies have clashed on a series of issues including Turkey’s quest to procure an S-400 missile defence system, and bilateral ties are expected to be discussed between the two sides.
Washington has also threatened Turkey with sanctions if it goes ahead with procuring the S-400 missiles, restricting access to the F-35 programme in which Turkey has been a participant.
Putin and Trump
Observers will also be looking closely at the body language between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In a recent interview, Trump has said that he “may” talk to Putin about Russian meddling in the US’s 2020 election.
From Iran to Syria and Ukraine, the US and Russia are at loggerheads. This is in addition to alleged Russian meddling in the US election in 2017 which has tarnished Trump’s election as president.
Trump’s personal behaviour with Putin will also be closely scrutinised.
Who are the members of the G20?
The G20, or Group of 20, are the leading industrialised and emerging powers that hold annual summits on economic governance and international issues as well as crises that affect the countries.
It is the main forum for international cooperation on matters of global finance and economy.
Members include the G7 (Group of Seven) countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US – as well as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, The European Union, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.
The G20 countries account for more than four-fifths of the world gross product and three-quarters of global trade.
Together, the countries also account for two-thirds of the world population.
A rotating presidency heads the group. Japan assumed the G20 presidency on December 1, 2018, and will host this year’s event at Osaka.
Next year’s G20 will be hosted by Saudi Arabia.
Who attends the meetings?
Ministerial-level meetings began in 1999, with finance ministers and heads of the central banks of member countries coming together to discuss the issues of the day.
The global financial crisis of 2008 led to the heads of state and government meeting and broadening the G20 agenda.
The heads of global and regional bodies are invited to the summits, among them the chiefs of the UN, IMF, World Bank, WTO, African Union, APEC and Southeast Asia’s ASEAN.
Rotating G20 summits also invite guest nations, including ‘permanent guest’ Spain and, this year, partner countries the Netherlands, Norway and Singapore.
What happens at the meetings?
Although the G20 summit is known for the meeting of heads of state and government, there are several ministerial meetings between the finance, labour, foreign affairs, health and agriculture ministers of the member countries in the months leading to the summit.
These meetings lay the groundwork for the final meeting at the summit.
Countries may also hold bilateral talks ahead of the event.
Source: TRT World