Tony Abbott Clanks on G20 Leaders for Economic Growth while Dragging Actions on Global Tax Evasion

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By Athena Yenko | June 23, 2014 5:49 PM EST

Prime Minister Tony Abbott met with representatives of G20 Leaders and Finance and Central Bank Deputies in Melbourne Sunday to assure that everybody is in the same page - driving economic growth - as Australia leads the G20 summit for 2014 happening in November.

Reuters
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G20 member nations agreed to an ambitious target of increasing a collective GDP by more than two per cent above current projections over the next five years. Mr Abbott hopes that this agreement is realised by November.

"In November, leaders of the G20 nations will gather in Brisbane to ensure concrete outcomes are delivered for the betterment of member countries and the world: economic growth, jobs and a global economy that can weather future shocks. In recent months G20 member countries have been sharing details of the policies they intend to pursue to contribute to our shared economic growth goal," Mr Abbott said in a statement.

Mr Abbott said that as the G20 summit nears, with just five months remaining, leaders should turn aspirations into actions as there is much more to be done.

"We are making progress but there is much more to be done. We need actions that free the private sector to grow and create the jobs of the future. We need actions that encourage investment in infrastructure that drives economic productivity. We need to make it easier for businesses and countries to trade and we need to ensure that international companies pay their taxes where they make their profits," Mr Abbott called out.

If targeted economic growth is achieved, Mr Abbott said that it is a legacy worth leaving.

"Our best chance of delivering for the global community in November is to focus on a few crucial areas of economic reform, where the potential dividends are huge. Delivering on our two per cent growth ambition will inject trillions of dollars into the global economy and create millions of new jobs.That can be the legacy of G20 Leaders in November, if we commit to real action."

Meanwhile, Australia failed to sign an early information sharing agreement as part of its membership to the G20. As a result, the country is being accused of delaying international efforts done to address tax evasion.

 The early information sharing agreement was signed by finance ministries at a G20 meeting held in Sydney in February. There already 40 countries who have signed the agreement including Germany, UK and the British Virgin Islands.

''It was a bit disappointing that Australia will no longer be an early adopter,'' Maggie Murphy, a senior program coordinator said. If you're championing a process, if you're the leader of this group of nations, and you're at the same time saying we need an international body to take things forward, then you need to be part of that drive forward. It's disappointing to see that there's been a reluctance and the timeline has been dragged out. It's going to take a lot longer [now]," Maggie Murphy, a senior program coordinator told The Sydney Morning Herald.

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(Photo: Reuters / Sunny Peter)
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