G8 Lough Erne Summit
(1) On June 17 and 18 in 2013, the G8 Summit was held in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, under the presidency of the United Kingdom. The participants were: Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom (Chairperson); President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation; Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Federal Republic of Germany; Prime Minister Enrico Letta of the Republic of Italy; Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada; President François Hollande of the French Republic; President Barack Obama of the United States; Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.
(2) The United Kingdom, under its G8 Presidency this year, set 3 T's (trade, tax and transparency)as the main theme of the G8 Summit. The Leaders had intimate and frank discussions on a broad range of issues, including the global economy and foreign policy.
(1) The Global Economy
The G8 Leaders agreed that although downside risks have been reduced, economic recovery remains weak, and growth and jobs need to be strengthened. Prime Minister Abe explained Japan's economic policy, focusing on the so-called "Abenomics." He expressed his determination to raise growth potential by implementing the Growth Strategy, including the promotion of economic partnerships, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and continuing the consistent efforts to bring about reforms. Other G8 Leaders highly evaluated Japan's efforts and expressed strong expectation that a revival of the Japanese economy will lead to further development of the global economy.
The G8 Leaders reaffirmed the role of trade as an engine of economic growth. In particular, they agreed on the importance of infrastructure development and capacity building for the promotion of trade in growing Africa. In this regard, the Leaders welcomed the contribution made by the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V).
(2) Regional and Political Issues
The G8 leaders had frank discussions on the pressing issues facing the international community.
The Leaders expressed grave concerns over the critical humanitarian situation and the growing influence of extremists, and agreed on the need for additional humanitarian assistance and the holding an international conference (the Geneva 2 Conference) as soon as possible to achieve a political solution to the crisis. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan's support for the moves towards political dialogue. Also he unveiled Japan's plans to expand humanitarian assistance (a new disbursement of 10 million US dollars in addition to the 80 million US dollars), give support to areas under the control of opposition forces , and provide yen loans totaling 120 million US dollars to neighboring Jordan.
(b) North Korea
Prime Minister Abe insisted the G8 should send a clear message that the possession of nuclear weapons by North Korea cannot be tolerated, and that North Korea should refrain from provocative actions and fully abide by its obligations under relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions in good faith. He also asked for the understanding by the other G8 Leaders of the abduction issue, and it was reflected in the G8 Leaders' Communiqué.
(3) Counter Terrorism
Reflecting on the terrorist incident in Algeria, the Leaders discussed counter terrorism measures in North Africa and the Sahel region. They agreed to promote international cooperation to strengthen the security capacity of countries in the region. Prime Minister Abe underscored the importance of international cooperation and the need to address the root causes of terrorism, such as poverty, by calling attention to Japan's assistance expressed at TICAD V (one billion US dollars in aid to the countries in the Sahel region and a training program for 2,000 counter-terrorism and security officers).
(4) Tax and Money Laundering
(a) The Leaders discussed responses to the problems of tax evasion and tax avoidance, or Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), by multinational enterprises, which have become social problems in Europe and the United States. They also argued the G8 should provide political support to the ongoing efforts by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to enhance automatic tax information exchange. Prime Minister Abe stated that it is important that countries avoid tax competition depriving tax base from other countries by reducing tax burden and harmonize taxation systems to ensure appropriate tax collection.
(b) Regarding the transparency of company beneficial ownership, the Leaders discussed the need to implement relevant Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations and to publish national action plans in order to prevent companies from being used by criminals as a shell to facilitate illicit financial flows. Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan, under his instruction, will faithfully implement its national action plan being published and make sincere efforts to develop the necessary system.
(5) 3T's (*Dialogue with Non-G8 Members)
The G8 Leaders held dialogue with representatives of non-G8 countries, mainly from Africa, regarding 3 T's--trade, tax and transparency--which is the main theme of this year's G8 Summit. Non-G8 representatives stressed the importance of aid to improve the transparency of extractive industries and land deals in order to avoid the "resource curse" and facilitate agricultural development.
Prime Minister Abe reaffirmed the importance of trade and noted it is important to promote regional trade agreements and make the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference later this year successful.
* Note: The outreach session was attended by: Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC); Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Chair of the African Union [AU]); President Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal (Chair of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD); President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Republic of Liberia (Co-chair of the High-Level Panel of the Post- Millennium Development Goals [MDGs]); President Enrique Pena Nieto, President of the United Mexican States; Prime Minister Ali Zeidan of Libya; Managing Director Christine Lagarde, of the International Monetary Fund (IMF); President Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank; and Secretary-General Angel Gurria of the OECD.
Based on these discussions, the "G8 Lough Erne Declaration," which Prime Minister Cameron drafted, the "2013 Lough Erne G8 Leaders' Communiqué," which was agreed by each G8 member, and other documents were issued.
- Next Year's G8 Summit
Russian President Putin announced that the G8 Summit in 2014 will be held in the region around Sochi on June 4-5, and other leaders welcomed his proposal.