On 14 September, Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie, together with the Minister of Production and Labour, Dante Sica, headed the G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting in Mar del Plata.
The meeting gathered all G20 members, six guest countries (Spain, Chile, the Netherlands, Jamaica -on behalf of CARICOM-, Senegal -on behalf of NEPAD- and Singapore -on behalf of ASEAN) and International Organizations (World Bank, International Trade Centre, IMF, OECD, WTO, UNCTAD, IDB and CAF).
The meeting ended with a Ministerial Statement which calls for "building consensus for fair and sustainable development."
During the meeting, the role of the G20 as a platform for "political dialogue" outside of a negotiating context was acknowledged, in addition to underscoring the need to work together to: a) enhance sustainable economic growth, b) keep markets open, c) address economic development and d) reinvigorate the international trading system.
In the statement, the Ministers recognized the urgent need to discuss current events in international trade and ways to improve WTO to face current and future challenges, as well as ideas to ensure that WTO continues to be relevant.
Agro-food Global Value Chains and the New Industrial Revolution
All the issues put forward by Argentina as Chair enjoyed unanimous support by all G20 members and guest countries, stressing the importance of global value chains (GVC) in agro-food in order to achieve a sustainable food future and opening a discussion on factors that may help to improve access to markets, foster opportunities for value-addition and create jobs in rural areas.
The Ministers also welcomed the discussion of factors for G20 policy-making options, with a view to facing the challenges and transformations arising out of the New Industrial Revolution (NIR) and its implications for production, trade and investment patterns.
Finally, and with a view to the Buenos Aires Summit to be held on 30 November and 1 December, the Ministers recommended that Leaders continue considering these important topics at the meeting in Mar del Plata."
After the Meeting, Foreign Minister Faurie stated:
"We welcome the effort made by all ministers to agree on a common denominator, which has allowed us to issue the ministerial statement. This shows that, through dialogue and the search for common ground, we can build a new framework, consistent with the way the world has changed with respect to work, production and trade."