G20 Summit: Joint solutions to global challenges

Osaka Castle, Japan

Osaka Castle, Japan, © picture alliance / Photoshot

28.06.2019 - Article

The 20 leading industrialised and newly industrialising countries are meeting in Osaka from today. What issues are most important to us?

The Heads of State and Government of the G20 states are meeting in Osaka on 28 and 29 June to identify joint solutions to global challenges. From Germany’s viewpoint, the Summit’s prime task is “to improve a rules-based international order that is capable of effectively responding to a rapidly changing world”, as it said in the declaration [Link] from the previous G20 Summit, in Buenos Aires. 

Germany believes there are three key issues here:


Over the past few decades, free, rules-based trade has greatly increased prosperity worldwide, and particularly in newly industrialising and developing countries. The foundation for this success is a reliable trade system with recognised rules and functioning dispute settlement procedures. The World Trade Organization (WTO) stands at the heart of this system. However, reform is urgently needed to make the WTO fit for new challenges in a changing global economic system. In Osaka, the G20 Heads of State and Government will discuss the most recent developments and reform proposals.


Global warming caused by human activity is one of the central challenges of our age. Only global responses taking into account the interests of industrialised, newly industrialising and developing countries will offer effective solutions likely to meet with universal support. This year’s G20 Summit should therefore strongly signal determination and a readiness to act. In Germany’s view, a clear commitment to continued implementation of the Paris Agreement is crucial, not least in the run-up to the United Nations Climate Action Summit at the end of September.

International financial system

As far as Germany is concerned, the most important issue in the realm of finance this year is international tax policy. In particular, fair, unified taxation of the digital economy is urgently needed to ensure a fair and effective tax system. The G20 Finance Ministers have already agreed on a roadmap for this. Now concrete measures for the taxation of international companies are to be developed by 2020.

Increasing need for international coordination

G20 Media Center in Osaka, Japan
G20 Media Center in Osaka, Japan© picture alliance / Photoshot

For 20 years, representatives of the 20 leading industrialised and newly industrialising countries have gathered to find joint solutions to global challenges. Germany supported the establishment of the G20 from the outset, seeing it as a forum for multilateral coordination and especially as a means to involve major emerging economies in Asia or Latin America. The G20 Summits at Head of State and Government level have taken place since 2009. 

When the G20 was set up in the late 1990s, the original focus was on financial and economic issues. Since then, there has been an increasing need for international coordination in many other fields as well. Nowadays the Summit agenda regularly includes issues like climate protection, women’s rights, education or migration, as well as matters relating to the international financial and economic order.


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