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G20 summit ends with declaration of support for free trade principles

The members of the G20 bloc on Saturday concluded their two-day Summit here by declaring support for the principles of free trade and economic growth amid global trade-related tensions.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a press conference after the end of the two-day summit that the G20 leaders agreed on the need to boost economic growth and expressed concerns about globalization and the world trade system, reports Efe news.

Abe said the 20-member group reaffirmed its support for “the fundamental principles backing a free trade system” and placed special emphasis on achieving open, free and non-discriminatory markets and a level-playing field.

Japanese Prime Minister said even though it was difficult to find one solution to so many global challenges at once, the group had managed to show a common will in many areas.

The leaders also recognized the clear “downside risks” to the global economy according to Abe, who said the member-countries had agreed to spearhead economic growth and stressed the need to reform the World Trade Organization.

The final statement signed by the leaders flags the intensification of geopolitical and trade tensions, but does not include any mention of growing protectionism, in the context of the growing trade tensions between the US, China and other countries.

The joint declaration said global growth was stabilizing and was expected to register a small rise later this year and in 2020, adding that the bloc was committed to confronting the risks associated with the tensions and launch more actions if needed.

Established in 1999, the G20 is a central forum for international cooperation on financial and economic issues. It comprises 19 countries plus the European Union (EU).

The member nations are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Britain and the US.

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