G20 Finance Ministers Commit To 2% GDP Growth Target

The G20 Finance Ministers have committed to a collective growth rate of 2% above the current trajectory over the next five years.

Hockey

Speaking after the meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Sydney, Treasurer Joe Hockey said: “Realistically, these policies could mean an extra US$2 trillion in global economic activity and tens of millions of additional jobs.”

Each country in the group has agreed to deliver a comprehensive growth strategy as part of the Brisbane Leaders Summit in November.

  • Listen to Joe Hockey’s press conference (24m)

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  • Listen to US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (16m)

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Media release from the Treasurer, Joe Hockey.

CONCLUSION OF G20 FINANCE MINISTERS AND CENTRAL BANK GOVERNORS MEETING IN SYDNEY

Today marks the conclusion of the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Sydney, which is the first on Australia’s soil as part of our host year.

In an unprecedented statement, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors committed to implement policies to grow our collective GDP by more than 2 per cent above the current trajectory over the next five years. [Read more...]


Joe Hockey Speech To Lowy Institute: “The Age Of Personal And Corporate Responsibility Has Begun”

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has delivered a speech in which he says the age of personal and corporate responsibility has begun.

Hockey

Addressing the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Hockey said: “Individuals must do more for themselves, they must become more self-reliant. And the business sector must shoulder more of the burden. It must restore corporate accountability, and rely less on government assistance. It must stand on its own feet, and it must pay its fair share of tax.”

Hockey spoke at length of Australia’s role this year as president of the G20. He said: “The G20 is definitely the right body to take the wheel… Because G20 members account for 85 per cent of the world economy, 80 per cent of trade and about two thirds of foreign direct investment.”

Hockey said Australia “must play to its strengths”. He said Australia would work to promote stronger economic growth and better employment outcomes, and help to make the global economy more resilient and able to deal with future shocks. [Read more...]


Abbott Arrives In Davos For World Economic Forum

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has arrived in Davos, Switzerland, for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Abbott

Founded in 1971, the WEF is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Geneva. On its website, the organisation says: “The World Economic Forum is a membership organization. Our Members comprise 1,000 of the world’s top corporations, global enterprises usually with more than US$ 5 billion in turnover.”

The annual meetings held in the mountain resort of Davos is made up of around 2,500 business leaders, politicians and others.

At his press conference following his arrival, Abbott spoke at length about Australia’s role as this year’s president of the G20, the organisation representing the world’s 20 largest economies.

  • Listen to Abbott’s press conference (in progress – 7m)

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Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s press conference in Davos, Switzerland.

ABBOTT: It is good to be here at the World Economic Forum because the people of Australia expect their government to be working for a stronger national economy and a stronger global economy, because a stronger national economy and a stronger global economy means more jobs for the people of Australia.

That is essentially why I am here, a long way from home in one respect, but very close to home in another respect, because nothing is more important to the people of Australia than jobs and my mission here is to showcase the Australian economy, to let the world know that Australia, since last year’s election, is under new management and once more open for business, and to highlight our agenda for the G20. [Read more...]


Gillard-Swan Open Letter To G20 Leaders

This is the text of an open letter from Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan to G20 leaders.

The G20 met at the Los Cabos resort in Mexico. Various reports suggest the letter was not well received by other leaders.

The G20 is the “Group of Twenty Finance Minister and Central Bank Governors” from 19 countries plus the European Union. The countries are: United States, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia, India, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, China, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea.

Dear colleagues,

The G20 Los Cabos Summit comes at a challenging time. Risks in Europe have intensified significantly in recent weeks.

Increasing concerns over Greece and the stability of the Spanish banking sector are adversely affecting global financial markets and moving us quickly into crisis management mode. [Read more...]


Kevin Rudd Comments On The G20 Summit


Full Text Of G20 Declaration

The meeting of G20 nations in Washington DC has issued a declaration of economic aims and objectives.

  • Download the G20 Declaration (PDF)

  • Obama’s First Weekly Address Posted On YouTube

    A weekly radio address has been a presidential tradition for decades in the United States.

    Today, President-elect Barack Obama delivered his first address and posted it on YouTube.

    This is the text of President-elect Obama’s first weekly address:

    Today, the leaders of the G-20 countries — a group that includes the world’s largest economies — are gathering in Washington to seek solutions to the ongoing turmoil in our financial markets. I’m glad President Bush has initiated this process — because our global economic crisis requires a coordinated global response.

    And yet, as we act in concert with other nations, we must also act immediately here at home to address America’s own economic crisis. This week, amid continued volatility in our markets, we learned that unemployment insurance claims rose to their highest levels since September 11, 2001. We’ve lost jobs for ten straight months — nearly 1.2 million jobs this year, many of them in our struggling auto industry. And millions of our fellow citizens lie awake each night wondering how they’re going to pay their bills, stay in their homes, and save for retirement.

    Make no mistake: this is the greatest economic challenge of our time. And while the road ahead will be long, and the work will be hard, I know that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis — because here in America we always rise to the moment, no matter how hard. And I am more hopeful than ever before that America will rise once again.

    But we must act right now. Next week, Congress will meet to address the spreading impact of the economic crisis. I urge them to pass at least a down-payment on a rescue plan that will create jobs, relieve the squeeze on families, and help get the economy growing again. In particular, we cannot afford to delay providing help for the more than one million Americans who will have exhausted their unemployment insurance by the end of this year. If Congress does not pass an immediate plan that gives the economy the boost it needs, I will make it my first order of business as President.

    Even as we dig ourselves out of this recession, we must also recognize that out of this economic crisis comes an opportunity to create new jobs, strengthen our middle class, and keep our economy competitive in the 21st century.

    That starts with the kinds of long-term investments that we’ve neglected for too long. That means putting two million Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, and schools. It means investing $150 billion to build an American green energy economy that will create five million new jobs, while freeing our nation from the tyranny of foreign oil, and saving our planet for our children. It means making health care affordable for anyone who has it, accessible for anyone who wants it, and reducing costs for small businesses. And it also means giving every child the world-class education they need to compete with any worker, anywhere in the world.

    Doing all this will require not just new policies, but a new spirit of service and sacrifice, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. If this financial crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers — in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people. And that is how we will meet the challenges of our time — together. Thank you.