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G20 sets growth as priority, agrees to check tax evasion

Jul 21 2013, 16:35 IST
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SummaryThe G20 on Saturday agreed that boosting growth and jobs is the near-term priority for the global economy as it faces a “fragile and uneven” recovery.

The G20 on Saturday agreed that boosting growth and jobs is the near-term priority for the global economy as it faces a “fragile and uneven” recovery.

Finance chiefs from the G20 group of advanced and emerging nations also backed an action plan drawn up by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to crack down on tax avoidance by multinationals and help replenish diminished budgets.

“We agreed that our near-term priority is to boost jobs and growth,” said the final communique from their meeting in Moscow.

The ministers said they agreed that the global economic recovery needed to be stronger and more stable.

“The global economy remains too weak and and its recovery is still fragile and uneven,” said the communique.

Several big nations ahead of the meeting had called for clarity after the US Federal Reserve said it could begin cutting its quantitative easing programme, which injects some $85 billion a month into the economy via bond purchases, later this year and end the programme by mid-2014.

But the statement vowed that any such changes would be made carefully and would be clearly communicated.

“Future changes to monetary policy settings will continue to be carefully calibrated and clearly communicated,” it said.

The statement said that jobs could be boosted by further reducing financial market fragmentation, continuing monetary support where needed, rebalancing global demand, and taking measures to support growth.

Key G20 members including the United States had made clear ahead of the meeting that the fight against unemployment should be at the centre of the agenda although other states, like Germany, are known for wanting to keep a strict eye on fiscal discipline.

The G20 said they had fully approved the action plan delivered earlier in the two-day meeting by the OECD to clamp down on tax avoidance.

“We fully endorse the ambitious and comprehensive action plan submitted at the request of the G20 by OECD aimed at addressing profit erosion and profit shifting.” However the communique stopped short of giving a deadline for the action plan to be implemented.

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