CAIRNS, Australia (AFP) – G20 nations including the United States and China said Sunday they can overcome geo-political tensions and financial risks to achieve extra combined growth of 1.8 per cent, adding trillions of dollars to the world economy.
Their two-day meeting in Cairns was focused on developing a suite of policies to reach an ambitious goal of raising the total GDP of the 20 major world economies by two per cent above current projections over the next five years.
Finance ministers and central bank governors, including US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, want to take their plan to the G20 leaders’ summit in Brisbane in November.
In a communique, they said that the 1,000 measures agreed so far – including to accelerate infrastructure investment, financial reform and encourage free trade – could add 1.8 per cent to GDP and create millions of new jobs.
But more reforms were needed to meet the two per cent goal, agreed in Sydney earlier this year.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde speaks at the end of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Cairns on September 21. G20 nations including the United States and China said Sunday they can overcome geo-political tensions and financial risks to achieve extra combined growth of 1.8 per cent, adding trillions of dollars to the world economy – AFP
“Preliminary analysis by IMF-OECD indicates these measures will lift our collective GDP by an additional 1.8 per cent through to 2018,” they said.
“In the lead up to the Brisbane (leaders’) summit, we will continue to identify a series of additional measures to meet our collective growth ambition. We will hold each other to account in implementing these policy commitments.”
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde hailed what she called “significant progress” despite increased geo-political tensions, including in Ukraine and the Middle East, since the ministers last met in February.
“Despite the global recovery continuing, the pace of growth remains low and uneven, in part given increased geopolitical tensions and risks of financial market turmoil,” she said.
“Promoting economic policies that can contribute to a more robust and job-rich recovery is therefore critical at this stage.
“I commend G20 countries for significant progress in developing growth strategies to lift medium-term growth.”
While welcoming developments, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the world economy was facing headwinds, pointing to disappointing growth in Europe and Japan and a slowdown in emerging economies, including China.
“In light of these challenges to the global economy, the G20 has stressed the importance of immediate support for creating jobs, growing the economy, and implementing fiscal strategies flexibly to support demand,” Lew said.