The G20 finance ministers meeting ended in Cairns with work to do on its ambitious global growth target.
The G20 under Australia’s presidency still has some work to do.
The ambitious economic growth target of the world’s richest nations is almost complete, but it’s still too early to say 2014 has been a complete success.
G20 finance ministers and central bankers finished a two-day meeting in Cairns on Sunday under tight police security.
It was the first international gathering since the Abbott government raised the threat level a week ago, and this weekend’s gathering was being treated as a test for the G20 leaders summit in Brisbane in November.
There was only one rally involving about 100 people outside the Cairns meeting demanding action on climate change. Brisbane is expected to see something more dramatic.
In February, Treasurer Joe Hockey as co-host to G20 finance ministers with Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens struck a deal to lift global growth by an additional two per cent by 2018.
This will help to make the economy about $2 trillion larger and create millions of jobs.
Since then, member countries submitted more than 900 initiatives.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimate these equated to an additional 1.8 per cent growth.
“We are 90 per cent there,” Mr Hockey told reporters at the close of the meeting.
Mr Hockey said at the beginning of the year there was no global growth target, no global infrastructure agreement, financial sector reform was slow and the tax integrity program was in its infancy.
He is confident by the time of the Brisbane there will be “concrete outcomes”.
The meeting agreed to a global infrastructure initiative geared to knowledge-sharing that helps match private investors with projects.
Infrastructure and labour market measures to unleash additional jobs should be the G20 focus, according to IMF boss Christine Lagarde.
“These are two areas where we hope there is more to come,” she told reporters.
US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew took aim at Europe, saying it really needs to do more to support growth.
“Taking action to boost demand in the short run and make structural changes for the long run is an important combinations,” he told reporters.
“It shouldn’t become a choice between the two, you really need to pursue both.”
Work is under way to prevent taxpayers bearing the brunt of a collapse of either a large bank or insurer, while the G20 is committed to crack down on cross-border tax avoidance by multinational companies.
WHAT THE G20 AGREED TO DO:
* Boost demand with a global infrastructure initiative through developing a knowledge sharing platform
* Increase consistency in banks’ application of the strengthened Basel III rules on capital
* Implement agreed financial regulatory reforms, while
remaining alert to new risks
* Maintain strong commitment to global response to cross-border tax avoidance and evasion so tax systems support growth-enhancing fiscal strategies and economic resilience
* Commit to maintaining a strong and adequately resourced International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a key priority. The G20 will continue to urge the US to ratify the reforms agreed to in 2010 by year-end and reaffirm our Leaders’ agreement in St Petersburg and our agreement in April 2014
* Underscore the importance of a coordinated international response to the Ebola epidemic, and the potentially serious impacts on growth and stability in the affected countries and wider region.
G20 COMMUNIQUE FROM CAIRNS MEETING
* Global economy still faces persistent weakness in demand
* Aim is to lift collective GDP by more than two per cent by 2018
* Preliminary IMF-OECD analysis indicates measures so far will lift GDP by additional 1.8 per cent
* Monetary policy in advanced economies to continue to support economic recovery
* Flexible fiscal strategies to continue to support growth, job creation and debt on sustainable path
* Infrastructure investment critical to boosting demand
* Work underway to prevent serious taxpayers losses from a failure of big global bank/insurer
* Important to finalise financial regulatory reforms
* Strongly committed to global response to cross border tax avoidance
* IMF quota and governance remain key priority
* Concerns about serious impacts of the Ebola epidemic and need for a coordinated international response.