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Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

2 November 2012

Treasurer to attend G20 Finance Ministers' meeting and meet with key policy-makers in Washington

This weekend I will attend the G20 Finance Ministers' Meeting in Mexico City to work with my G20 counterparts on the major challenges that continue to weigh on the global economy.

I will then travel to the United States for meetings with key policymakers including US Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

I will also meet with the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Doug Elmendorf to get a first-hand assessment of the risks presented to the US economy from the fiscal cliff.

These meetings in Mexico City and Washington DC will provide a valuable opportunity to get first-hand assessments of the world's most pressing economic challenges from key figures in the global economy.

The global economic outlook remains uncertain despite much-needed initiatives over recent months that have helped stabilise financial markets. The euro area in particular remains a key threat to the global economic recovery, with several countries in recession, unemployment which has just reached a new euro-era high of 11.6 per cent, and unsustainable levels of debt.

The looming 'fiscal cliff' in the United States risks pushing the US economy back into recession. Policy-makers in several major economies must also deliver credible medium-term fiscal consolidation while still supporting economic growth.

While the uncertainty in the global economy has clearly impacted on our own region, the longer term prospects for Asia remain bright. As outlined in the Government's White Paper: The Asian Century - An Australian Opportunity, Asia is set to overtake the economic output of Europe and North America combined to become the world's largest economic power.

Australia faces current global challenges, as well as the longer-term opportunities presented by the Asian Century, from a position of strength. Our economy is already 11 per cent larger than when the Government came to office, and is expected to outperform every major advanced economy this year and the next. We also have an enviable combination of solid growth, low unemployment, contained inflation and low debt, with the budget returning to surplus ahead of every major advanced economy.

My focus at the G20 Finance Ministers' meeting will be on reinvigorating global economic growth and jobs, while making the difficult decisions to put budgets on a more sustainable footing for the longer term.