Focuses of the German G8 presidency
Chancellor Angela Merkel submitted a tentative agenda to the cabinet for assessment. When it takes over on January 1 Germany will assume responsibility for defining the areas of discussion to be dealt with by the G8 leaders. The cabinet expressed strong approval of the agenda as presented.
It is aimed at living up to G8 responsibility to help create stable and reliable conditions for the global economy as well as at strengthening G8 commitment to assisting disadvantaged segments of the world population.
Investment, innovation, sustainability
In its economic policy agenda the German government addresses issues of fundamental importance for stability in global trade and financial relations.
· Renewed impetus in discussing strategies aimed at reducing global imbalances (current account deficit in the United States, insufficient growth in Europe and Japan, growing foreign exchange reserves in Asia).
· Discussion of measures aimed at improving systemic stability and transparency of financial markets.
· G8 commitment to freedom of investment in industrial and emerging countries. Addressing of global investment conditions. Discussion of the social dimension of globalization.
· Dialogue on the central importance of innovation in knowledge-based societies and the need to strengthen the protection of innovations against product and trademark piracy.
· Challenges posed by the need for sustainable use of resources. Key importance will be attributed to the subject of energy efficiency. Global efforts to prevent climate change and the Kyoto Process will play an important role.
Africa: good governance, sustainable investment, peace and security
Attention will also be focused on urgent problems in Africa relating to economic development, poverty reduction, and the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Chancellor Merkel attaches importance to an expansion of G8 relations with Africa in the form of a partnership for reform. She feels a new policy approach is needed for Europe's neighboring continent and that it is not a "lost cause".
Economic growth and G8 responsibility are seen as key factors for development in Africa. Special importance attaches to the need to strengthen African health care systems, particularly in connection with the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The German presidency will seek to send a positive message expressing confidence in Africa's future. The African countries need to develop structures that will encourage private investment, i.e. more democracy, less corruption, more self-responsibility, and more resource sovereignty.
A series of G8 ministerial meetings will be held in Germany on a variety of subjects in preparation for the summit.
An initial discussion of the summit agenda by representatives of the G8 countries is scheduled for the end of this year. It is only then that the specific agenda items will be finalized.