The Group of 20 (G20) leaders are meeting for a two-day summit in Russia to discuss Syria and the global economy.
"The key objective of the G20 at this moment," according to the statement from the Russian official website, " ... is fostering strong, sustainable and balanced growth. To get closer to attaining this goal, Russia has set forth a number of tasks for the G20 to stimulate economic growth and job creation, primarily through encouraging long-term investment, ensuring trust and transparency at the markets and enhancing effective regulation."
This is the group of nations, according to the BBC, which accounts for two thirds of the world's population and 90 percent of its output. They observed the nations looked as divided over the economy as it has seemed over "possible military action" following chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
President Barack Obama, according to a report from Reuters, approached his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin with "a stiff smile," and both seemed very businesslike. When they turned to pose for photographers, however, Obama managed a broad grin.
Putin, as well as China, the European Union, the BRICS emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and Pope Francis - in a letter - warned of the dangers of military intervention in Syria without the approval of the U.N. Security Council, said Reuters, quoting Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao:
"Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price - it will cause a hike in the oil price."
The organization Oxfam today reported on the summit also, stating that if G20 nations were "hit as hard by corporate tax dodging as Africa, they’d have a $1.2 trillion hole in their budgets."
Oxfam believes that African nations are losing almost 2 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP) which they state as being the result of "companies fiddling the books" via "trade mispricing," and also calculate that if G20 countries lost the same proportion of their GDP to corporate tax dodging, "... it would blow a massive $1.2 trillion hole in G20 budgets."