G20 meets amid the volatility

A meeting of the world’s key money men and women couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.


With volatile financial markets fretting over the global economic outlook, faced with a slowing Chinese economy and possibly an imminent interest rate increase by the US Federal Reserve, this weekend’s meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers will have plenty to talk about.

The meeting will take place in Ankara on Friday and Saturday as Turkey holds the G20’s presidency for 2015.

International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde warned this week that global economic growth is likely to be weaker than was expected just a few months ago.

She said while Asia was still expected to lead global growth, the pace was slowing and could sag further because of recent financial market volatility.

Other topics up for discussion include financial regulation and the group’s international tax agenda.

Treasurer Joe Hockey flew to Turkey on Wednesday after presiding over a limp set of economic growth figures for the June quarter.

He will be urging his G20 counterparts to stick to the promise of raising world growth by an additional two per cent over the next four years.

Under Australia’s G20 presidency in 2014, Mr Hockey secured an historic growth agreement, aimed at creating $US2 trillion in economic activity and tens of millions of jobs across the globe.

“All countries must take all possible steps to lift growth and achieve this target and Australia is playing its role, too,” Mr Hockey said.

However, the international trade union movement – under the banner of the Labour 20 or L20 – believes the world’s richest nations are falling behind this target.

It will be making a presentation to a joint meeting of finance and employment ministers on Friday, saying that world growth is almost 1.7 per cent below the level it should be at.

It will argue that if the G20 target is to be reached, growth would now have to rise an extra one per cent per year leading up to 2018.

“This will not happen on current policies,” the L20 says in a statement.

The G20 leaders summit will be held in November.