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Update: Joe Hockey to push global growth goal at G20 meeting in Washington

|Apr 9|magazine7 min read

G20 finance ministers and central bank governors will meet in Washington over the next few days to continue discussing the overarching goal of a two percent increase in global GDP in the next five years. The main goal is to deepen and build on this ambitious agreement that was struck in Sydney in February during the first G20 meeting under Australia’s presidency.

“The basis of the Sydney commitment was that people will bring new measures to the table to add to growth. They need to be measures that address identifiable gaps and address them substantively. We’d be looking to countries to meet this commitment,” said Barry Sterland, head of Treasury’s G20 program.

Hockey wants countries to share their early thinking on this plan to boost growth; all countries are currently in the early stages of compiling their own growth plans. The first meeting in Sydney outlined these goals, as well as Australia’s key policy areas including trade reforms and investing in infrastructure, labour market policy and competition reform. Hockey is hoping to create millions of jobs around the world with the results of these goals.

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Treasurer Joe Hockey and Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens are hosting the meetings. The meeting comes before International Monetary Fund’s annual Washington meeting, an event Hockey will attend. IMF reform will be a big topic of conversation at the G20 meeting as well, as Hockey has advocated major changes to help make the IMF more representative of growing economies. Hockey has criticised the US Congress in multiple ventures for stalling on these proposed reforms.

Some countries have questioned Australia’s unusually tight-lipped response to questions of their own plans for economic growth. One growth item Hockey will be able to present on at this weekend’s meeting is the agreement made in March with states and territories, which has them selling public assets and directing profits into productive infrastructure projects.

Each member of the G20 meeting will be delivering a comprehensive growth strategy in November at the official G20 Leaders Summit.