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G20 Update: 3 Things You Need to Know Before the G20 Meeting in November

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|Sep 3|magazine8 min read

1. A preliminary meeting between business leaders, finance ministers and central bank heavyweights will take place in Cairns in September.

This meeting will be attended by Australian high-ups like Wesfarmers’ Richard Goyder, Telstra’s David Thodey, Commonwealth Bank’s Ian Narev and GE Mining’s Steve Sargent. The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting will focus on advocacy, so that their 20 recommendations arediscussed and hopefully agreed upon during the main G20 leaders’ conference that is taking place in November.

Infrastructure is one of the main topics. Several of the recommendations in this industry include setting 5-year investment targets, publishing national pipelines that had been assessed by independent authorities and setting up an infrastructure hub. In finance, ANZ CEO Mike Smith has made completion Base III banking reforms a priority.

2. No decision has been made on Putin’s involvement in the G20 meeting.

Although there is still some time before the November meeting, the interest in Putin’s involvement in the summit this year has taken centre stage, overshadowing some of the issues. Australia has not made an official decision on the issue and has instead decided to consult other members of the G20, with an opportune chance to do so at this week’s NATO meeting in Wales.

Opposition to Putin’s presence at the meeting as only grown since the MH17 tragedy. Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made his opinion well known, using strong language against Russia in the aftermath. The Australian opposition Labor Party has also indicated it would support a move to bar Putin from the Brisbane G20 event.

"I understand that the G20 is an international event, (that) it's not a simple matter of just saying yes or no to Putin," Labor leader Bill Shorten said. "I don't want to meet Putin. I've got no time for what he's done."

3. Corruption costs the world’s poorest countries $1 trillion a year, and ONE wants the G20 to do something about it.

Issues like money laundering, bribery, tax evasion and corruption plague the world’s poorest countries, according to a report titled The Trillion Dollar Scandal sponsored by ONE. The Washington DC-based advocacy group is lobbying the host country to use its presidency to address the global corruption epidemic.

The report further estimated that more than 3.5 million deaths could be prevented if the money from corruption was instead funnelled into healthcare and country’s health systems. ONE went on to say that if policies in money laundering, public registers for private companies, company payments for natural resource deals and international exchange of tax information could be put in place, losses could be significantly reduced.

Information sourced from The Australian, Yahoo News Australia and ABC News.