2 October 2013

Vladimir Putin about the G20 Summit in St.Petersburg

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin took part in the fifth annual investment forum "Russia Calling!", organized by VTB Capital. The theme of this year's forum is New Horizons for Growth: How to Reach Them.

During his speech Vladimir Putin spoke about the results of the G20 Summit which was held in St.Petersburg in the beginning of September.

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Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon friends, ladies and gentlemen.

I know you had a very active discussion yesterday.

I want to welcome you all to this forum organized by VTB Capital. The forum has already become a regular event and I think it is very useful. Here, you can discuss the biggest issues concerning the Russian and global economies in an open, professional and friendly manner.

This year's forum is taking place only a month after the G20 Leaders' Summit in St.Petersburg. Let me say a couple of words first about the Summit's results.

The general conclusion is that the acute phase of the crisis is over and the current risks are more or less under control. However, hopes for swift recovery in the global economy, if anyone had them, are illusory. The crisis that the current economic model is going through is structural and thus long-term in nature. Practically all countries are experiencing a slowdown in growth rates, including Russia, of course.

We must coordinate our actions and find new sources of development. The Russian G20 Presidency made this the basic approach, and this strategy was cemented in the St.Petersburg Action Plan that the Summit produced.

The G20 countries succeeded in finding mutually acceptable solutions to practically all of the complex issues before us. These solutions are equally important for the international community and for Russia.

A consensus has been reached on combining measures to stimulate economic growth with fiscal consolidation. The specialists know that reaching a consensus on these two different areas of action is quite difficult if at all possible. But the Summit participants reached an agreement at any rate that we will proceed based on these two seemingly different vectors of action.

Medium-term targets have been set for each country in reducing budget deficits and carrying out structural reform. This involves labour market regulation, taxation, developing human capital and modernizing infrastructure.

Financing investment was a big priority for the current Presidency and a new theme for the G20. A specific G20 roadmap for improving the investment climate and encouraging long-term investment was drafted and is already being implemented.

The key issue at the Summit was reforming tax policy in order to fight tax evasion, including through the use of offshore zones and schemes. We adopted principled decisions on this matter in St.Petersburg, approved the action plan for combating erosion of the tax base and tax avoidance, and agreed on standards for exchanging information for tax purposes.

Another important result was that the G20 reiterated its support for the multilateral trade system. We agreed to extend until the end of 2016 our countries' commitment to limit protectionism in global trade. I can say that it was no easy task to persuade all of the Summit participants to agree to this decision.

We also approved commitments to making regional trade agreements more transparent and bringing them into line with the World Trade Organization's principles.

Judging by our G20 partners' reactions and the response from experts and the media, we can state confidently that the St.Petersburg Summit was a success.

As we saw it, the process of coordinating and approving the measures needed to make the global economy more stable went ahead in a regular and friendly fashion at the G20 Summit, and this gives us confidence we do have a chance of making the global economy more receptive to long-term growth factors.

At the same time, we realize that each country will carry out its own national strategy and look for its own answers to the challenge this global structural crisis brings, based on its existing possibilities, resources and specific internal problems.

Full version of the transcript you can find here