G20 proof will be in the pudding

November 16, 2014 12:51 PM

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Hardly anybody in the world would be worse off and many will be discernibly better off, three years from now, if the aims and ambitions to which the 20 biggest economies committed themselves in Brisbane yesterday are to be realised. A fresh focus on infrastructure investment, liberalisation of world trade, extra efforts to stimulate growth and to liberate the potential of the private sector could, the OECD and the World Bank say, make the world economy grow by two per cent more than it is presently likely to. There are specific commitments — about youth unemployment, about reducing the gap between male and female participation in the workforce, about combined action to deal with Ebola about action to deal with reform of international profit transfers so that profits are taxed primarily in the country in which profits are made. Each, if realised, promises something more than a general prosperity and economic security: it would involve some redistribution of resources into economies and sectors of economies where talents and abilities can be liberated, and a fairer system prevail.

The G20 agreements sit alongside other bilateral and multilateral meetings, announcements and deals over a week of international conferences, including APEC at Beijing, the East Asian summit in Burma, an informal meeting of the BRICS group, comprising the five major "emerging economies", and global ...

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