G20 trade ministers meet in Sydney

The G20 trade ministers gathered in Sydney on Saturday to discuss the contribution of trade and investment to growth and how to strengthen the global trading system.

Andrew Robb, Australian minister for Trade and Investment, said in the opening remarks to the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting that trade and investment have become of great interest to replace growth driven by debt-financed government spending.

Robb noted that trade ministers need to create an enabling environment for the private sector that allows them to get on with growing their businesses by improving their competitive position.

And, so much of this can be assisted by what changes each make to its own domestic policies, he said.

“It is why Leaders at the G20 St Petersburg Summit last year agreed that this year we should all identify those domestic policy reforms we could unilaterally take to drive greater business activity and deliver higher growth,” said Robb.

On the conclusion of the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting on the same day, Robb told media that much work needs to be done to secure a boost to global economic growth of 2 percent.

During the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting in February, ministers agreed on nominating the policy reforms their countries would take unilaterally to drive a 2 percent greater level of growth in their own countries over the next five years.

To date, the initiatives on the table amounted to reforms that could secure growth of about 1 percent, according to Robb.

The G20 countries represent about 85 percent of the global GDP, 75 percent of international trade, and two-thirds of the world’s population.

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