BRISBANE, Australia (AFP) – G20 leaders, which collectively comprise 85 per cent of the world economy, wrapped up their annual summit on Sunday with agreement on a wealth of issues, primarily economic. Here are the main outcomes:
The leaders of the world’s most powerful industrial economies pledged to grow their combined economic output by an extra 2.1 per cent – or about $2 trillion – over the next five years.
This was above the 2.0 per cent goal they were initially targeting. Their strategy to achieve this goal through domestic policy reforms will be known as the “Brisbane Action Plan”.
The summit agreed to launch the Global Infrastructure Initiative to unlock private financing for infrastructure investment worldwide, including the creation of a Global Infrastructure Hub based in Sydney to support best practices and coordination.
Increased global trade will be a requirement if the G20 is to achieve its growth target. The leaders committed to implement all elements of the Bali package and swiftly define a WTO work programme on the remaining issues of the Doha Development Agenda to get negotiations back on track.
TAX AND FINANCIAL REGULATION
G20 leaders agreed to complete by the end of 2015 an implementation plan on combating tax avoidance by multinational companies. They also vowed to strengthen financial institutions, protect taxpayers from having to fund bailouts of “too big to fail” banks and to make derivative markets safer.
The summit won a commitment by each country to close the gap between its male and female labour-force participation rates by 25 per cent by 2025; this will bring an estimated 100 million additional women into the labour force by that year.
The summit had a session dedicated to global energy issues for the first time and agreed that energy would now be at the heart of the G20’s agenda, with strong and resilient energy markets critical to economic growth. They asked energy ministers to meet and report back on options to take this work forward.
While not on the official agenda, leaders expressed support for an urgent coordinated international response to the crisis raging in west Africa. They called on international financial institutions to assist affected countries in dealing with the economic impacts of the humanitarian crisis.