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Bilateral Meetings at Bali: Trends, Observations and Notable Moments

Jennifer Miao Wang, G20 Research Group
December 15, 2022

Between November 14 and 16, 2022, there were 28 bilateral meetings among the leaders participating in the 2022 G20 Bali Summit. Of these, 75 percent were between the leaders of developed countries and developing countries. Moreover, two were between members of countries that are in both the G20 and G7, and one meeting occurred between South Africa and China, both members of BRICS. These are notable as they affirm the commitment of the G20 and its members to collaborate at a global level to strengthen and accelerate progress on commitment areas such global health, food insecurity, renewable energy and the digital transformation of the global economy. These meetings also demonstrate that efforts to alleviate the most pressing issues present in today's world require not only discussion and collective action among developed countries, but also necessitate the involvement of those in need of aid in these discussions and partnerships. Several meetings also occurred solely between developing countries, which were between Indonesia and Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. Brazil, Mexico and Russia – who were represented by their foreign ministers as their leaders did not travel to Bali for the summit – did not engage in any bilateral discussions.

Some notable moments from the 28 meetings include the three-hour bilateral meeting between the US president Joe Biden, and Chinese president Xi Jinping, as well as Xi's meeting with Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese. The meeting between Biden and Xi was their first encounter since Biden took office. The meeting between Albanese and Xi was also significant for it ended the years-long economic sanctions held by Beijing and diplomatic tensions.

With Indonesia holding the 2022 G20 presidency, President Joko Widodo engaged in several meetings, including bilateral discussions with the leaders of Australia, Japan, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

With India assuming the 2023 G20 presidency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with several leaders, including those of Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. India formally assumed the presidency on December 1, 2022, with the theme of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" or "One Earth One Family One Future."

Table 1. Bilateral meetings between G20 members between November 14 and 16, 2022
Table 1. Bilateral meetings between G20 members between November 14 and 16, 2022.

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