The Group of 20’s leaders agreed boosting global growth to deliver better living standards for people around the world is their highest priority, according to the communiqué they issued Sunday at the conclusion of their two-day summit in Brisbane, Australia. “We set an ambitious goal to lift the G-20’s [gross domestic product] by at least an additional 2 percent by 2018,” they said.
Calling GDP growth of 2 percent during this period an ambitious goal appears to be kind of a stretch at first glance. However, one-quarter of the G-20 members are France, Germany, Italy, the U.K. and the European Union, where collective forecasts of GDP growth recently have been ratcheted down from low levels to even lower levels.
Meanwhile, Russia’s petroeconomy has been hit by the double whammy of comparatively low crude-oil prices and sanctions over its alleged involvement in the rebellion in Ukraine; Japan has been Japan; and even China has been susceptible to the current slowdown.
Nonetheless, analysis by the International Monetary Fund and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has indicated the G-20 could attain its GDP growth goal, assuming all its commitments are fully implemented, the group’s leaders said. It would add more than $2 trillion to the global economy and create millions of jobs.
Drivers of the G-20’s growth would encompass scaling down barriers to trade, scaling up investment in infrastructure and promoting competition, as indicated in the Brisbane Action Plan (PDF).
With respect to trade, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron at the summit pledged to put “rocket boosters” behind a plan for an EU-U.S. free-trade agreement, BBC News reported. Cameron said EU and U.S. leaders all agreed the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, “is a deal we want.”