January 23, 2014 / 10:27 AM / 6 years ago

Australia's Abbott vows to promote free trade as G20 chair

Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 23, 2014. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott vowed on Thursday to use his country’s presidency of the G20 this year to promote free trade, and called on the group of leading economies to undo protectionist measures.

“I want to make this very clear: As a trading nation Australia will make the most of its G20 presidency to promote free trade,” he said in a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos. “This year’s G20 must be more than a talk fest”.

“At the very least, the G20 this year should renew its commitment against protectionism and in favour of freer markets. Each country should renew its resolve to undo any protectionist measures put in place since the crisis,” he said.

“But better still, each country should commit to open up trade through unilateral, bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral actions and through domestic reforms to help businesses engage more fully in private commerce,” he added.

Reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Mike Collett-White

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