Brisbane (dpa) – The G20 summit is the best forum to promote free trade, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday, a day before leaders of world’s 20 leading economies meet in the eastern Australian city of Brisbane.
Cameron, among the first leaders of the grouping of wealthy nations to arrive for the summit, also warned against protectionism in a speech to parliament in Canberra.
“If we are to bust the myths that stand in the way of the great new trade and investment deals now before us, we have to tell it to people straight – opening up trade doesn’t cost jobs, it creates them,” Cameron said. “Let’s see though an EU-US deal that could be the biggest of its kind on the planet. And while we’re at it, let’s push for an EU-Australia deal too,” he said.
Cameron lashed out at “countries that believe there is a short-cut to success – a new model of authoritarian capitalism,” in an apparent swipe at China.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to sign a free trade agreement on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
Canberra recently signed trade deals with Korea and Japan. The leaders of South Korea, Mexico, India and Japan landed in Brisbane ahead of the two-day summit, which opens at a convention centre in the Queensland capital on Saturday.
The talks will centre around strategies to achieve the G20 target of at least two per cent economic growth by 2018, which it says will see some $2 trillion and millions of jobs added to the world economy.