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Promoting inclusive growth: a key G20 commitment

December 19, 2016

Young sewers in Birma.

One of the most important commitments made by the G20 is to lift the G20’s gross domestic product at an additional two percent by 2018 (G20 Leaders’ Communiqué, Brisbane Summit 2014). The G20 have also agreed that economic growth should be strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive. The term "inclusive" in this context means that economic growth should benefit all people in all countries - in particular groups that are at a disadvantage in the labour market such as women and young people. The aim is to create more decent work while combating poverty and inequality, so that no one is left behind. Acknowledging that overcoming social inequalities is a key challenge both in G20 countries and worldwide, the G20 has recently put even more emphasis on addressing this goal. (G20 Leaders' Communique, Hangzhou Summit 2016).

Under the Chinese Presidency in 2016, the G20 has also planned to take the global lead on the implementation of the United Nations' Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should serve as a future guide for action for the G20. These goals include ending poverty in all its forms everywhere (SDG 1), achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls (SDG 5), promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all (SDG 8), reducing inequality within and among countries (SDG 10) and ensuring responsible consumption and production patterns (SDG 12).

Towards an inclusive future - shaping the world of work

Promoting inclusive economic growth and the fight against inequalities is a G20 priority that the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is determined to advance during the German Presidency. For this reason, we have set four main areas to focus on in the context of the G20 Employment Working Group. This working group, which consists of senior representatives of all G20 labour and employment ministries, will prepare the final declaration to be adopted by the G20 labour ministers in Bad Neuenahr in May 2017.

Together with our G20 partners, we want to work out concrete options for action and policy recommendations to make significant progress in achieving our goal of inclusive, productive, and resilient labour markets. The areas we want to focus on are:

  1. improving the quality of female employment
  2. integrating migrants and refugees into the labour market
  3. promoting sustainable global supply chains
  4. shaping the future of work

In addition to these four priorities, the cross-cutting issues of "promoting youth employment" and "the social dialogue" will be taken into consideration in each priority. For example, tailor-made support measures during vocational training would play an important role in the successful integration of young migrants.

In addition, social partners - employers and trade unions - will be more involved in the G20 consultation process. Their perspectives are indispensable when it comes to balancing economic and social interests - as Germany's experience with social dialogue shows over the decades.

A changing world: Structural changes

Our choice of priorities is also a response to structural changes that affect G20 labour markets and require new policy answers: globalisation, digitization, migration, demographic change and cultural change. These changes present a number of opportunities to promote inclusive growth. However, active policy-making is essential to taking advantage of these opportunities.