Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung
Sonntag, 2. Juli 2017
Growth must be sustainable, says Angela Merkel
For Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, the forthcoming G20 Summit in Hamburg is “not simply [about] a question of growth, but rather of sustainable growth”. In her new video podcast, Merkel said that global development will “certainly not be sustainable and inclusive if we simply continue doing things the way we have always done them”.
She explained that the G20 format had come about because of the financial crisis and had initially drawn up regulations for financial market products. The G20 had subsequently gone on to think more about development as a whole. The aim is to ensure that sustainable growth becomes a “win win situation for everyone”. In Merkel’s opinion, this involves “climate agreements, open markets and better trade agreements that include consumer protection, social standards and environmental standards”. These must be further developed step by step, she said.
Merkel spoke about a “multipolar world” in which countries such as China and India also have geostrategic goals. And the more development there is, for example in China, the more countries naturally also develop concepts on their own role. The Federal Chancellor said that China wants to safeguard trade routes, is active in various UN missions and will gradually play a greater role in foreign policy. “However, I do not see a problem with this,” she said. “We now need to ensure – and the G20 will of course provide a good forum for this – that we also discuss these different sets of interests and do not turn them into irreconcilable disputes, but instead, to put it very simply, turn them into a real win win situation for the benefit of the global economy. And that will be our aim in Hamburg.”
Merkel said that there is now greater awareness in the newly industrialising countries, particularly in China and India, “that they would harm themselves if they followed the same course of development as we did”. Pursuing a different type of development can “in fact be beneficial and bring about technological progress”. It was important to constantly find the right compromise. “That is the art of international arrangements,” she said. “And that is why the Paris Climate Agreement was such an important milestone in this mutual understanding.”
Merkel said she would not close down the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Foreign policy always involved relations between governments, she said. Development policy must also have the freedom to carry out its own projects, and not only in the interests of political harmony. This involves working with non state actors – “outside governments, which perhaps do not regard their civil society the way we would like them to”. The Federal Chancellor said that several ministries deal with development issues. There were overlaps, which is why the Federal Government has always worked on “having a joint strategy on Africa because we need several ministries to play their part in achieving this – a single ministry cannot do so on its own”.
The video podcast can be viewed at www.bundeskanzlerin.de from 10.00 a.m. today (Sunday, 2 July). The full text of the interview is also available on this website.