G20 aims to lift global GDP by over two percentage points by 2018

SYDNEY (AFP) - G20 finance ministers and central bank governors on Sunday said they aim to lift their collective GDP by more than two percentage points over the next five years.

In a communique following their meeting in Sydney, the world's top economies said the "realistic" target could be achieved by increasing investment, lifting employment and enhancing trade.

"We will develop ambitious but realistic policies with the aim to lift our collective GDP by more than two percent above the trajectory implied by current policies over the coming five years," they said.

"This is over US$2.0 trillion (S$2.54 trillion) more in real terms and will lead to significant additional jobs."

It added that there was "no room for complacency" and the addressing the challenges "requires ambition".

"We commit to developing new measures, in the context of maintaining fiscal sustainability and financial sector stability, to significantly raise global growth," it added.

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey, the G20 chair, had been pushing ministers to agree to faster global growth targets with private sector investment as a central plank.

He stressed the need for structural reforms to drive growth.

"We know reform is hard. We have to earn economic growth and new jobs," he said after the meeting ended.

"It will take concrete actions across the G20 to boost investment, trade, competition and employment opportunities, as well as getting our macroeconomic fundamentals right.

"Specifically on boosting investment, particularly in infrastructure, the G20 had an extensive discussion about the common challenges we face.

"There is much we can do to remove constraints to private sector investment by establishing sound and predictable policy and regulatory frameworks," he added.

Ahead of the meeting the IMF said more coordinated work was needed to keep output expanding and boost demand, as the world economy still struggles to leave behind the financial crisis that began in 2008.

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