Development should be central to the G-20’s agenda, officials of development banks said at the the sidelines of a G-20 finance ministers’ meeting in Busan, South Korea on June 5.
Developing countries have the potential and the people to meet the growing demand of G-20 economies, according to World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. “The G20 must recognize this and give development the central place it deserves in its agenda,” he said.
Asian Development Bank Chief Economist Jong-Wha Lee added that the G-20 needs to develop an agenda that promotes sustainable and long-term global growth. Other speakers at the conference encouraged the G-20 to generate jobs by investing in the infrastructure sector of developing countries.
Other key priorities identified by the development banks’ officials are the recovery of money stolen through fraud and corruption, the promotion of trade, and greater market access.
In the communique released after their meeting, G-20 finance ministers welcomed the agreement reached during the World Bank’s spring meeting to increase the voting powers of developing and emerging countries by 3.13 percent as well as the capital increases approved for various development banks, including the World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank and the African Development Bank.
The communique also outlines measures that the finance ministers agreed on are necessary to accelerate progress on repairing and reforming the global financial system.
The finance ministers voiced their support for the newly launched Global Agriculture and Food Security Program and called for more voluntary contributions for the fund. They also backed the full cancellation of Haiti’s debt to international financial institutions.
The finance ministers will present their recommendations for the G-20 leaders’ summit in Toronto on June 26 to 27.