The G20 Leaders Signed Off With A Promise To Grow Their Economies By More Than 2%

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President Barack Obama meet Jimbelung the koala at the G20 meeting in Brisbane. Andrew Taylor/G20 Australia via Getty Images

The combined growth strategies of G20 member nations presented at the Brisbane Leaders’ Summit will mean 2.1% new growth and inject an additional $2 trillion into the world economy and create millions of jobs.

Apparently.

The Brisbane Action Plan has almost 1,000 measures, including more than 800 new ones, which the IMF and OECD estimate will boost the collective GDP of G20 nations by 2.1% by 2018.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the leader of the G20 summit, said this is new growth, over and above business as usual trends.

“Early in Australia’s G20 Presidency we set an ambitious target of getting all countries to commit to measures that would deliver at least 2 per cent additional GDP over five year,” he said.

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

The leaders committed to close the gender gap in labour force participation by 25% by 2025.

This will bring more than 100 million women into the global labour force, further increase global growth, deliver financial independence to millions and help reduce poverty and inequality.

The G20 also agreed to a Global Infrastructure Initiative to address the $70 trillion gap in infrastructure needed by 2030 to improve productivity and living standards.

“Governments cannot afford to foot this bill on their own,” Mr Abbott said.

A Global Infrastructure Hub, headquartered in Sydney, will drive the G20’s work on infrastructure by bringing together governments, the private sector, multinational development banks and other international organisations.

G20 and non-G20 countries will make use of the Hub’s data, information, ideas and networks to help lift infrastructure investment globally.

G20 members also agreed to tackle 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,” Mr Abott said. “It will help secure our revenue bases and restore integrity and fairness to the global tax system.”

He said Australia pushed hard for G20 leaders to focus on the importance of energy to economic development, particularly for developing economies.

“It is critical that global institutions reflect the changing nature of the global energy markets and leaders have agreed the G20 Principles on Energy Collaboration,” he said.

And climate change made the final agenda.

“The G20 leaders support strong and effective action to address climate change,” Mr Abbott said.

Leaders also endorsed significant measures which will help strengthen the global financial system. These measures will help ensure the circumstances which led to the global financial crisis do not occur again.

Banks are now better capitalised, derivative markets are safer and work has progressed to better protect taxpayers if large banks fail. We have reduced risks in the shadow banking sector.

“Our focus now is to get on with the job of implementing our commitments while remaining alert to new and emerging risks,” Mr Abbott said.

“We have also made progress on anti-corruption, energy and sustainability, development and reform of international economic institutions.”

The leaders also expressed deep concern about humanitarian and economic impact of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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