News Column

G20 Ministers Push for More Growth and Jobs

July 22, 2013
G20 Ministers, jobs, growth

The G20 nations vowed Saturday to turn away from austerity and step up growth and job creation, as their two-day meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors drew to a close in Moscow.

"The global economy remains too weak and its recovery is still fragile and uneven. Unemployment remains excessively high in many countries," the Group of 20 leading economies said in their communique.

"Strengthening growth and creating jobs remain our priority," it said.

"We have asked for concrete national strategies" to combat joblessness, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told reporters following the meeting.

Underlining the importance of jobs, the Moscow summit was the first in which labour and employment ministers also took part.

Youth unemployment in particular is a chronic problem, especially in crisis-hit countries such as Spain, where rates approach 60 per cent.

The group focused on ways to avoid future crises.

To smooth trade imbalances, the group called for "internal balancing through structural reforms" that would require "surplus economies to boost domestic sources of growth and deficit economies to increase national savings and enhance competitiveness."

In an apparent reference to criticisms of Chinese monetary policy, the communique called for "more market-determined exchange rate systems and exchange rate flexibility" and an end to "competitive devaluation" and using exchange rates "for competitive purposes."

In a move EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta described as a "paradigm shift," the G20 also adopted an action plan against tax evasion that the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) had presented the previous day.

The OECD plan is intended to prevent multinational corporations such as Apple and Google from exploiting legal loopholes to pay less or no tax.

The emerging BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) also pushed forward with a common fiscal and economic policy in Moscow.

The communique listed other steps to be taken, including support for a long-mooted European banking union and structural reforms to increase productivity, labour force participation and employment.

An action plan will now be developed in time for the St Petersburg summit in September, where G20 leaders will meet.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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