Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted the latest G7 Summit in Ise-Shima. The talks focused on two main topics: the global economic situation; and improved actions to fight corruption, cybercrime and terrorism. Most relevant were Abe’s opinion about the global economy, and the G7’s first glimpse of reply to China’s ambitions on the world finance scene after it launched the AIIB last year.
The Summit took place just weeks or days before a 2 percentage point sales tax hike by Japan and a likely rate hike by the United States. Abe urged fellow leaders to prevent another global crisis by consolidating what he described as a fragile recovery and to foster economic growth – moderating austerity measures and increasing public spending – in order to address the “major risks facing the global economy.”
According to the Japanese leader, “there is an increasing risk of economic slowdown and growing economic volatility.” His US counterpart Barack Obama agreed, underlining the G7’s commitment to “making sure that each country, based on its particular needs and capacities, is taking steps to accelerate growth.” Despite a joint declaration, the G7 has yet to reach a clear consensus.
The G7 also aimed at promoting “quality infrastructure investment” and listed 5 principles that encourage “relevant stakeholders” to align with “transparent, competitive” standards; in a 2-page statement that reminded the World Bank’s stance on China’s AIIB.