Australian Finance Minister Joe Hockey read a communiqué Friday saying the group is aiming to boost world growth by two per cent, an ambitious target given problems such as lagging emerging economies and high public debt in most member countries.
“It was a determination to lay down a new growth agenda for the world,” Hockey said.
The G20 nations are focusing on real outcomes, such as job creation and GDP growth, he said, adding that those are the best ways to alleviate poverty around the world in the long term.
“Governments haven’t got any leeway on fiscal policy and they’re running out of room on monetary policy. So the only way to alleviate poverty is to promote growth,” he said.
Hockey set out some priority areas for the G20 countries to try to draft common legislation ahead of their next meeting in six months.
These include:- Real and tangible plans on tax reform to prevent profit shifting by companies.
- Building mechanisms to fund infrastructure development.
- New governance measures for banks that are too big to fail.
- Reducing barriers to trade.
The G20 leaders paused during the gathering to pay tribute to Jim Flaherty, upon learning of his death Thursday.
The sudden loss of Canada’s former finance minister shocked longtime colleagues at the G20′s spring meeting — the first time in nearly a decade such an event was attended by a Canadian finance minister other than Flaherty.