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G20 Priorities

The Growth Challenge

Strengthening growth and creating jobs is our top priority and we are fully committed to taking decisive actions to return to a job-rich, strong, sustainable and balanced growth path. … We will identify the remaining key obstacles to be addressed and reforms needed to achieve stronger, more sustainable and balanced growth in our economies.

St Petersburg G20 Leaders' Declaration

The global economy is still in recovery from the global financial crisis, and despite recent signs of improvement, the growth challenge remains.

As G20 leaders emphasised at St Petersburg last year, the G20’s immediate task is breaking the cycle of low growth and diminished business and consumer confidence.  Building on the St Petersburg Summit, G20 members are well placed to do this in 2014.

Five years on from the global financial crisis, global economic growth is recovering, but growth rates remain below what is required to get citizens back into jobs, ensure a sustained rise in living standards and achieve a more balanced global economy. 

In 2014, the global economy continues to produce far less than it would have if it were not for the crisis, there are tens of millions fewer jobs and global trade still has a way to go to return to pre-crisis levels.

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that output in the G20 would now be 8 per cent higher per worker if the world economy had continued growing as it did between 1998 and 2005.
  • Global trade is forecast to grow at 4.7 per recent this year, an improvement on the 2.1 per cent growth seen in 2013 but still below its pre-crisis average of 6 per cent per annum between 1980 and 2007, and trade restrictions are increasing, raising the cost of doing business.
  • The International Labour Organization estimates that in 2013 there were 62 million fewer people in jobs lower than would have been had pre-crisis trends in output and employment continued.
  • Productivity growth is uncertain. In almost every advanced country, growth in GDP per hour worked has slowed over the past 10 years.

Themes for 2014

As Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in Davos in January 2014, if the largest economies can individually achieve higher growth and can cooperate to achieve higher global growth, then every economy benefits.

As G20 chair in 2014, Australia has developed with members an agenda to structure leaders’ discussions at the Brisbane summit on practical outcomes around the key themes of:

  • promoting stronger economic growth and employment outcomes
  • making the global economy more resilient to deal with future shocks
  • strengthening global institutions to ensure they reflect the new realities of the global economy.

Download the Policy Note Strategies for economic growth.
Download the Policy Note Lifting G20 GDP by more than 2 per cent above the trajectory implied by current policies over the coming 5 years.

Engagement Groups