G20 leaders issue action plan for growth

17 Nov 14
G20 leaders have agreed to boost their combined economies by at least 2.1% by 2018, injecting $2 trillion into the world economy, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced.

By Judith Ugwumadu | 17 November 2014

G20 leaders have agreed to boost their combined economies by at least 2.1% by 2018, injecting $2 trillion into the world economy, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced.

Closing the 2014 G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane at the weekend, Abbott set out economic pledges agreed by world leaders, including greater investment in infrastructure and action on corporate profit shifting.

He said the Brisbane Action Plan contained 1,000 economic measures proposed since February, including 800 new ones that would help grow member economies over the next five years, if implemented.

Abbott said: ‘Individual country actions range from employment measures to infrastructure investment, as well as action to expand trade, increase competition and reduce regulatory burden on business.

‘The Brisbane Action Plan and individual country growth strategies and employment plans have been made public so people around the world can see our commitments, hold us to account and witness our progress.’

Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, welcomed the determination of G20 leaders to boost their economies. She said it was a ‘commendable effort’ with significant benefits for the global economy.

‘Implementation is critical, with a strong accountability framework to monitor progress, supported by the IMF.’

Echoing Lagarde, Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank’s group president, added: ‘With the global economy struggling with an uneven recovery, we welcome G20 leaders commitment to raising growth and delivering quality jobs.’

He said higher and more inclusive growth is essential if governments and development leaders are to significantly cut poverty and reduce inequality.

G20 leaders identified investment in infrastructure as crucial to lifting growth, creating jobs and tackling poverty.

Progress was made on infrastructure investment, including the creation a Global Infrastructure Hub, which will be headquartered in Sydney. Abbott said this initiative would help address the $70trn gap in infrastructure needed by 2030 to improve productivity and living standards.

Governments cannot afford to foot this bill on their own, he said, adding that a new source of investment most be found.

G20 leaders also agreed to tackle tax base erosion and profit shifting and to share tax information by endorsing a new standard on the exchange of information between tax authorities.

‘This will make sure that big business pays tax in the same place it earns its profits.  It will help secure our revenue bases and restore integrity and fairness to the global tax system,’ he said. 

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