On 24 and 25 August, the trade ministers of the G20 countries met at the invitation of the Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal in Jaipur in India. The German delegation was headed by Sven Giegold, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

During the meeting, the G20 trade ministers discussed a number of current trade policy challenges, with the focus of the Indian G20 Presidency on the stabilising of global trade in a tense geopolitical environment. The Federal Government supports India’s efforts to strengthen trade and investment in the developing world. In addition, the ministers agreed on measures that will allow the G20 to make global value chains more transparent. This will make it possible to detect risks and new shocks early and to establish resilient global value chains through diversification. The reform of the World Trade Organization was another core issue on the agenda. The Federal Government, together with many other countries, is working towards ensuring a functioning dispute settlement mechanism at the WTO. Some progress on this has now been made.

Finally, the Meeting also focused on providing assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises in global supply chains. The G20 Ministers committed to the digitisation of trade documents and thus to the reduction of burdensome red tape in global trade.

In various bilateral talks, State Secretary Giegold discussed specific trade policy issues with his counterparts from almost all continents.

State Secretary Giegold said:
“In times of geopolitical tensions, trade policy must make a contribution to dialogue and cooperation. The common goal of the G20 is to stabilise global trade, provide developing countries with prospects for sustainable growth and raise the participation of small and medium-sized companies in global value chains. India has done an excellent job towards ensuring that the G20 makes it easier for SMEs to take part in global trade. On WTO reform, some encouraging progress has been achieved. Many countries support calls for fostering a functioning WTO dispute settlement mechanism. The WTO requires swift reform so that current challenges such as the climate crisis, the digital transformation and issues around a level playing field can be addressed.”

Due du Russia’s ongoing illegal war against Ukraine, the meeting ended – once again – without a joint communiqué being adopted by the ministers. Together with many other G20 members, the Federal Government called for Russia’s immediate withdrawal from Ukraine – not least in the interest of economic development and stable prices.

The outcome document provides for G20 principles on the digitisation of trade documents, the mapping of global supply chains and a plan to set up an improved trade information portal for small and medium-sized companies.