PERTH, Australia, April 13 - Slow progress towards meeting
economic growth targets set by the Group of 20 bloc of advanced
and developing nations this year is "unacceptable", Australian
Treasurer Joe Hockey said on Sunday.
G20 finance ministers had pledged to have "real and
effective plans to lift the global economy by a further 2
percent" before they meet in Australia in September but were
only one-tenth of the way there, he said.
"The proposals put forward by nations so far have been
unacceptable and they only meet 10 percent of our goal," Hockey
told Australian Broadcasting Corp. TV after talks in Washington.
Hockey coordinated the talks, with Australia holding the G20
The agreement by the G20 nations at a meeting in Sydney in
February to lift their collective GDP by more than 2 percent
above what current economic policies would achieve over the next
five years was reiterated in a statement on Friday.
The statement acknowledged the political difficulties in
making changes to reach that goal.
"There was a very frank discussion about the fact that they
need to be real and new commitments," Hockey said.
"It's not good enough for some countries just to reheat
previous announcements. You need to actually really do the heavy
lifting," he said.
G20 members represent around 85 per cent of global gross
domestic product, more than over 75 percent of global trade, and
two-thirds of the world's population.
Finance ministers from the bloc will meet in the tropical
Australian city of Cairns in September before a summit of G20
leaders in Brisbane in November.
During the talks in Washington, Hockey was also deeply
critical of delays in implementing changes agreed by the G20
bloc in 2010 for reform of the International Monetary Fund.
The reforms would give more power to emerging markets such
as Brazil and China and increase the IMF's resources.
Hockey blamed an impasse in the U.S. Congress for the delay,
saying it "diminishes America's global standing instead of
(Reporting by Morag MacKinnon; Editing by Paul Tait)