Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen will be participating in the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting in Istanbul on 6 October. She will also attend the OECD Global Forum on International Investment in the same city one day earlier.
Ms Ploumen has been invited to participate in the annual meeting of G20 trade ministers by the current G20 president, Turkey. It is the first time since 2011 that a Dutch minister has taken part in the G20. Items up for discussion include disappointing global economic growth and stimulating the involvement of low-income countries and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in international trade.
The Netherlands has knowledge and experience to share when it comes to aid, trade and investment, Ms Ploumen said. ‘Last week in New York, 193 countries adopted the new sustainable development goals, pledging their commitment to eliminating extreme poverty by 2030. Now it’s up to us to ensure the global trade and investment system helps us achieve this. For example, by placing greater focus on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, so we don’t just foster trade, but better trade.’
Ms Ploumen will be urging her fellow ministers to finalise the long drawn-out Doha negotiations on the further liberalisation of international trade. This is crucial for developing countries, as many businesses there suffer from the negative impact of complex regulations and lengthy procedures. The ministers will also discuss new challenges facing global trade, such as obstacles to cross-border services, the growing importance of the internet and disappointing international investments. The OECD Global Forum held the day before the G20 will also focus on international investment.
While in Turkey, Ms Ploumen will also be discussing the refugee crisis with the Turkish government. A number of bilateral talks, and meetings with aid organisations that work with refugees, are planned for Monday 5 October. ‘Turkey has already welcomed some 1.8 million Syrian refugees,’ Ms Ploumen said. ‘It’s an enormous challenge not just to provide these people with a safe haven, but to give them the opportunity to be self-reliant and build a new life until they can return home. Turkey is an important partner for the EU and the Netherlands when it comes to dealing with migration. We will be strengthening cooperation to meet the shared challenges we face, including the fight against people smuggling and human trafficking.’