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G20 aims to lift global GDP by 'more than 2%' over five years

business Updated: Feb 23, 2014 15:40 IST
AFP and Reuters

G20 finance ministers and central bank governors on Sunday said they aim to lift their collective GDP by more than two percent over the next five years.

In a communique following their meeting in Sydney, the world's top economies said the "realistic" target could be achieved by increasing investment, lifting employment and enhancing trade.

"We will develop ambitious but realistic policies with the aim to lift our collective GDP by more than two percent above the trajectory implied by current policies over the coming five years," they said.

"This is over US$2.0 trillion more in real terms and will lead to significant additional jobs."

It added that there was "no room for complacency" and the addressing the challenges "requires ambition".

"We commit to developing new measures, in the context of maintaining fiscal sustainability and financial sector stability, to significantly raise global growth," it added.

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey, the G20 chair, had been pushing ministers to agree to faster global growth targets with private sector investment as a central plank.

He stressed the need for structural reforms to drive growth.

"We know reform is hard. We have to earn economic growth and new jobs," he said after the meeting ended.

"It will take concrete actions across the G20 to boost investment, trade, competition and employment opportunities, as well as getting our macroeconomic fundamentals right.

"Specifically on boosting investment, particularly in infrastructure, the G20 had an extensive discussion about the common challenges we face.

"There is much we can do to remove constraints to private sector investment by establishing sound and predictable policy and regulatory frameworks," he added.

Ahead of the meeting the IMF said more coordinated work was needed to keep output expanding and boost demand, as the world economy still struggles to leave behind the financial crisis that began in 2008.

Key points from G20 communique

The world's top economies have adopted a soft target of adding at least 2 percentage points to growth over five years, a source said, signalling optimism that the worst of crisis-era austerity was behind them.

The following are key points from the communique at the conclusion of the Group of 20, according to the source.

"We commit to developing new measures in the context of maintaining fiscal sustainability to significantly raise global growth. We will develop ambitious realistic policies with the aim to lift collective GDP by more than 2 pct above the trajectory implied by current policies."

We recognize that monetary policy needs to remain accommodative in many advanced economies, to normalize in due course with the timing being conditional on the outlook for price stability and economic growth. This eventual development will be positive for the global economy and reduced reliance on easy monetary policy would be beneficial on the medium term for financial stability.

All our central banks maintain that monetary policy settings will continue to be carefully calibrated and clearly communicated in the context of ongoing exchanges of information and being mindful of the impacts on the global economy.

As markets react to various policy transitions and country circumstances, asset prices and exchange rates adjust. This might sometimes lead to excessive volatility and that can be damaging to growth. While many economies are prepared for this, our primary response is to further strengthen and refine our domestic macroeconomic structural and financial policy frameworks. Exchange rate flexibility can also facilitate the adjustment of our economies.

Some economies will need to rebuild fiscal buffers where policy space is eroded and we will consistently communicate our actions to each other and to the public and continue to cooperate on managing spillovers to other countries and to ensure continued effectiveness of global safety nets.

We deeply regret that the IMF core and governance reforms agreed to in 2010 have not yet become effective and that the 15th general review of quotas was not completed by 2014. Our highest priority remains ratifying the 2010 reforms and we urge the U.S. to do so before the next meeting in April.

(With inputs from AFP, Reuters)