G20 agrees global growth boost

Last updated 20:45 23/02/2014

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Finance chiefs from the 20 largest economies have agreed to implement policies that will boost the world economy by more than $2 trillion over the coming five years.

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey, who hosted the Group of 20 meeting in Sydney, said Sunday the statement from the G-20 finance ministers and central bankers was ''unprecedented.''

The world economy has had an uneven recovery from the 2008 financial crisis and the global recession that followed. Progress in returning economic growth to pre-crisis levels has been hampered by austerity policies in Europe, high unemployment in the US and a cooling of China's torrid expansion.

The centerpiece of the commitment made at the Sydney meeting is to boost the gross domestic product of G-20 countries by 2 percent above the levels expected for the next five years, creating tens of millions of new jobs.

The G-20 combines the world's major industrialised and developing countries from the United States to Saudi Arabia and China, representing about 85 percent of the global economy.

The communique from the meeting said signs of improvement in the global economy are welcome but growth remains below the rates needed to get people back into work and to meet their aspirations.

Through measures to promote competition and increase investment, employment and trade, the G-20 said it would ''significantly raise global growth'' without overtaxing national finances.

As an initial step toward achieving $2 trillion target, each country will present a comprehensive growth strategy to a summit of leaders scheduled for November in the Australian city of Brisbane.

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said the agreement is significant and crucial to ''turning the next page'' in the global economic recovery.

''G-20 members have spoken clearly: boosting growth and demand tops the global economic agenda'' Lew said in a statement.

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- Reuters

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