News / Africa

G8 to Tackle Trade, Taxes, Transparency

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
Britain is hosting this year’s G8 summit, which gets underway next week (6/17-18) in Northern Ireland. Prime Minister David Cameron has listed the major issues he wants leaders to tackle when they gather at the Lough Erne resort.

G8 Research Center Director John Kirton said leaders have known for months the top issues on the summit agenda.

“David Cameron said back in November last year that he wanted his summit to focus on trade, tax and transparency. And since then, rising up on the agenda has been another T – terrorism -- and then of course the escalating war in Syria.”

Even before it starts, Kirton says the summit is shaping up to be one of “significant success.”

“A lot of their achievements actually come in advance – down payments – as countries try and accommodate to their partners on the long pre-announced British themes,” he said.

For example, this month’s London summit on malnutrition saw governments and business pledge an additional four billion dollars over the next seven years. That doubles current spending on malnutrition.

“So this summit has already done much good for the poorest countries and the poorest people. There’s still a lot more to be done because of course we’re all committed to reaching the eight Millennium Development Goals in 2015. That’s coming fast and a lot of them have not yet been met,” he said.

Progress, said Kirton, is also being made on trade. After four years, negotiations are in their final stage between the European Union and Canada on a Free Trade Agreement.

“So that would get the summit off to a good start. It would also give everyone in Washington the confidence that if they announce, here at Lough Erne, the start of formal negotiations for the much bigger free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States that Europe could actually deliver a big deal on a much shorter time frame, that the Americans need, than the four long years it took with Europe to get the Canadian deal done,” he said.

On the issue of taxes, the summit will address tax evasion and avoidance. The British government says the aim is to “strengthen international standards to allow countries to collect tax that is due them.” That would be done through greater sharing of information.

The third major issue of transparency concerns ownership of land and companies and business deals done with developing countries.

Kirton said, “On transparency, the key task here is to get poor governments, especially in Africa, to actually receive the money that they deserve from their vast oil and gas and mineral wealth and not have it syphoned away through bribes, through corruption. So if people would just publish what they pay – join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative – that would go a long way to keeping African money in Africa working for them.”

In recent years, some observers criticized the G8 as being obsolete, saying that the G20 was more relevant. However, Kirton said the G8 reasserted its role during the global economic crisis. Both groups, he said, are needed.

“What we see here is that David Cameron has designed this summit to do trade, tax, transparency – key economic subjects -- as well as development and security. So I think what we see now is the two Gs – G8/G20 – actually working together giving the world two summits a year at a time when you really can’t just wait for, or rely on, one.”

The G8 Research Center is based at the University of Toronto.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid