BRISBANE, Australia (dpa) – The G20 convened its 9th summit in Australia on Saturday, with a focus on scaling up global economic growth.
Leaders of the group of the world’s largest economies began a plenary session at the Brisbane convention centre after an indigenous Australian welcome.
Barack Obama of the US, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Angela Merkel of Germany, Dilma Roussef of Brazil, Narendra Modi of India and Jacob Zuma of South Africa were among them.
“The message that should come from us over the next two days is a message of hope and optimism,” Tony Abbott, G20 chairman and Australian prime minister.
G20 members should show that governments can deliver, agree that the world can be better and that there can be higher growth and more jobs, he said.
Talks at the summit centre on strategies to meet the target to raise gross domestic product by two per cent more than current predictions by 2018.
That target could contribute two trillion dollars and millions of jobs to the world economy.
“The growth target we set of two per cent of GDP is on track,” Joe Hockey, Australia’s federal treasurer, said at an earlier meeting of finance ministers.
“Our leaders will be able to say we can achieve a plan to deliver stronger global growth and more job opportunities.” G20 members have for months been discussing issues ranging from trade and investment to tax avoidance and financial regulation.
Leaders outlined their positions at a two-hour pre-summit retreat at Parliament House, the seat of the Queensland state government. The summit is a culmination of a series of G20 meetings on issues ranging from trade and investment to tax avoidance and financial regulation.
The G20 accounts for around 80 per cent of the global economy and two-thirds of the world’s population.