G7 public engagement paper – Investing in growth that works for everyone

Economic cooperation through the G7 plays a crucial role in supporting the world’s middle class and those working hard to join it, particularly by ensuring that the benefits of economic growth are shared by everyone. This means championing innovative and gender responsive solutions to address common challenges such as growing inequality, the changing nature of work, and persistent poverty.

Empowering women and girls will be an essential component of these efforts. When women and girls are given equal opportunities to succeed, they can be powerful agents of change—driving stronger economic growth, encouraging greater peace and cooperation, and improving the quality of life for their communities. By supporting greater workforce participation by women, protecting worker rights, and growing the middle class, governments can also further promote equality.

It is clear that global challenges are creating unease: technological change is transforming the nature of work; globalization is increasingly perceived as a cause of inequality; growth across countries has been uneven; and demographic shifts and climate change are putting pressure on countries all over the world, especially in fragile and conflict affected states. However, these challenges also present tremendous opportunities—opportunities that all countries must seize together.

The G7 is in a unique position to tackle the most pressing global challenges and to implement viable and sustainable solutions, including by ensuring equality of opportunity and fairness across gender and generations. Full economic cooperation at the global level means that no one and no country should be left behind. Proactive strategies to develop new skills and capabilities in the workforce will help create labour opportunities that are more resilient to the disruption causing anxiety among workers across the world.

The G7 can also work to promote innovation and research in areas of economic, environmental, and social benefit. For example, gender responsive innovations and technologies can help tackle the under-representation of women as innovators and entrepreneurs  Creating partnerships between government, industry, and academia from G7 nations to drive scientific, commercial and social breakthroughs could not only help lead to increased prosperity, but also better societies. Specific areas of focus could include energy and climate change, gender equality, healthcare and aging, smart cities and urban density, and food and water scarcity.

Progressive and open trade within a rules-based system also ensures that the benefits reach all citizens from urban and rural areas and that everyone, including women and youth, are equipped with the skills and tools they need to adapt to the changing nature of work and to succeed in the global economy of tomorrow.

In addition, growth that benefits everyone is more easily achievable when the principle of fairness is upheld. The G7 must continue to promote greater tax fairness and to combat international tax evasion and avoidance, so that everyone pays their fair share and the wealthiest one per cent do not get unfair advantages over everyone else.

The G7 must also pay particular attention to the most vulnerable and to those most at risk of being left behind. It remains important to seek out innovative approaches to financing international development to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in the 2030 Agenda. This includes partnering in new and innovative ways including with the private sector, maximizing all available resources to meet the needs of developing countries, and supporting the full participation of women and girls in the economy and in all aspects of society by addressing the barriers to their participation in the workforce and in their communities.

Historically, countries have helped one another succeed by building on what they share in common. We all want a better life for their citizens. Today, all countries share the responsibility of showing their people how working in partnership can bring real benefits to everyone, and can bring optimism and confidence back to the middle class around the world.

Questions

  1. How can the G7 best strengthen and grow the middle class? How can the G7 work towards a fairer world where the benefits of economic growth are shared by all, including women and youth?
  2. How can the G7 improve women and girls’ access and control over resources, education and financial services? How can the G7 help close the gender pay gap? Which public sector initiatives and policies could be put in place to better empower women and girls?
  3. How can the G7 expand the use of innovative sources of financing for developing countries to encourage sustainable economic development? How can the G7 help ensure that international financial systems are adapted to developing countries realities and challenges?
  4. Which innovative and transformative approaches can the G7 champion and support to implement the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development? How can the G7 ensure that developing countries are fully engaged and are part of the conversation when talking about growth that works for everyone?