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Hockey gains concensus at G20 for 2% GDP target plan

Australia Treasurer Joe Hockey speaks during a press conference at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Sydney on February 23, 2014. G20 finance ministers and central bank governors said they aim to lift their collective GDP by more than two percent over the next five years.
Australia Treasurer Joe Hockey speaks during a press conference at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Sydney on February 23, 2014. G20 finance ministers and central bank governors said they aim to lift their collective GDP by more than two percent over the next five years. AFP Photo - Saeed KHAN

THE globe's 20 biggest economies will aim for a new growth target of 2% of GDP for all members of the G20, after Treasurer Joe Hockey built consensus for his idea during a key meeting in Sydney on the weekend.

While the idea had some detractors, notably Germany, from such a specific target; Mr Hockey as leader of the high-level talks gained what he called "unprecedented" support for the target.

The agreed statement sought all member nations to reach at least 2% growth in GDP over the next five years, in what Mr Hockey said could boost the global economy by US$2 trillion.

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

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

The commitment also reflected the Abbott Government's own domestic economic agenda of driving growth through infrastructure investment and loosening of the regulatory regime in Australia.

During a press conference before the final talks on Sunday, Mr Hockey also indicated workplace laws were to blame for high unemployment.

His comments come as Cabinet on Monday is expected to consider a major government inquiry into workplace laws, one of several reviews aimed at assessing the effects of current industrial relations laws.

Topics:  g20 joe hockey


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