G20 finance chiefs confident growth goals achievable

GMT 04:22 2014 Sunday ,21 September

Arab Today, arab today G20 finance chiefs confident growth goals achievable

Head of the IMF Christine Legarde (C)
Cairns - AFP

Finance chiefs from G20 nations wrap up a two-day summit on Sunday confident that boosting their combined growth by at least an extra 1.8 percent is achievable, and even better if sufficient reforms are made.
The meeting in Cairns is focused on developing a suite of policies to reach their ambitious goal of raising the total GDP of the 20 major world economies by two percent above current projections over the next five years.
Finance ministers and central bank governors, including US Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen, want to be able to take their plan to the G20 leaders' summit in Brisbane in November.
"At the moment, on the two percent requirement, it is broadly understood that about a 1.8 percent level is already achievable," Indian Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman told AFP.
"It is only the balance on which a little more additional push is required and if I go by Saturday's discussion, most of them did agree, and most of them felt committed to giving that additional push, so the additional two percent should be achievable," she said.
Despite rising world political tensions and concern that the sickly eurozone recovery could hamper their efforts, Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey said on Saturday he was encouraged by what G20 nations had brought to the meeting.  
"I have no doubt that as a result of the deliberations of this meeting this weekend, followed by the leaders' summit in Brisbane in November, that we have the opportunity to change the destiny of the global economy," he said.
French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said G20 members would achieve between 1.5 percent and 1.9 percent more growth if they put in place all the structural reforms to which they have committed.
But he revealed Saturday that there was a difference between the IMF and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on their calculations of what was possible.
"Each have their own calculation system. (IMF chief) Christine Lagarde said they had calculated it at 1.5 percent but that others could look at it in a different way and come up with 1.8 or 1.9 percent."
He added that two percent was possible but it was difficult, with the stalling eurozone recovery and weakening emerging economies.
Hockey, who is chairing the meeting, said more than 900 submissions had been made by participating countries to meet the growth goal, which would add an extra US$2 trillion to the G20's combined GDP.
These involve reforms to accelerate infrastructure investment, steps to strengthen financial reform and the opening of economies to free trade.

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