Australia lists four priorities for achieving global economic growth

Colombo, Nov.15 : Stating that Australia is honoured to assume the role of president of the G20, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Friday expressed the hope of continuing to be focused and relevant to achieving positive outcomes.

Addressing the Commonwealth of Foreign Ministers here, Bishop, listed four priorities for achieving this goal - (1) Focus on strengthening the international financial sector by reforming the IMF and reforming the Financial Stability Board (2) Unlocking of growth in developing countries through the infrastructure industry (3) Reforming taxation systems (4) Access to financial services.

She also paid tribute to Sri Lanka for hosting CHOGM this year inspite of the tragic consequences arising out of the nearly three-decade-long civil war, said that things are not perfect, but saw no point in isolating a member country because of the prevailing situation, or because of criticisms related to it.

"We are all members of so many organisations and fora. I think it's timely that we should remind ourselves of why we are members of the Commonwealth and treasure our membership of this extraordinary organisation," she said.

"It's through our commitment to values that we are all members of the Commonwealth and our commitment to democracy and to diversity and to collaboration and understanding is a very powerful thread," she added.

"I think it's always worth reminding ourselves of the words of Nelson Mandela, when he became President after a most disturbing period in South Africa's history, when he said that the Commonwealth makes the world safe for diversity and it certainly does have an influence and its achievements can have a profound impact around the world," Bishop said.

Stating that economic reform is obviously a foundation of the G20 agenda,Bishop said global growth is still in low gear.

"The IMF has now downgraded the global forecast for the seventh time in two years, so we have challenges ahead of us. The G20 as an organisation combines some of the largest economies and some of the emerging economies, but I think it is important to note that five of the G20 are in fact members of the Commonwealth - Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and the United Kingdom," she said.

"I believe that the G20 has responsibility to come up with practical ways to, for example, generate investment - global investment - particularly in productive infrastructure, and I'm hoping that the G20 agenda will be able to address some of the obstacles to investment, the unnecessary regulation and red tape," she added.

"We also hope that the G20 can find ways to better leverage funds in international institutions to activate additional capital from the private sector for global investment," she said.

"I think the challenge for organisations like the G20 is to continually be relevant, and in order for them to be continually relevant we need the leaders of the countries to be continually committed to attending and being there," she added.

--ANI (Posted on 15-11-2013)

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