The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

15 February 2013

G20 Finance Ministers' meeting in Moscow

Today and over the weekend, I will meet with G20 Finance Ministers in Moscow where we will continue the G20's work on the pressing challenges facing the global economy.

While there is some cause for cautious optimism, the global economic recovery is not yet self‑sustaining and stronger growth is needed to address the unacceptably high unemployment in many countries.

While global uncertainty continues to impact on our region, the Australian economy remains resilient.  Unlike most of the developed world, Australia has an enviable combination of solid growth, low unemployment, contained inflation, low debt and strong public finances.

Despite our economic strengths, global economic forces continue to impact our economy, with revenues far from recovering from the worst bout of economic turmoil since the Great Depression.

The G20 will continue to work on the delivery of strong medium-term fiscal frameworks to further support market stability and confidence across the globe.

I will use this meeting to continue to advocate for G20 Finance Ministers – who are responsible for around 85 per cent of the global economy – to implement policies and structural reforms that lift economic growth and employment.

One of the key initiatives I'll be pursuing at the G20 is increased cooperation between nations to close the tax loopholes that allow a small number of profitable multinational companies to exploit differences in taxation regimes to effectively pay no tax.

In doing so, these companies leave all the heavy lifting to the businesses and individuals who do the right thing.  This is not only unfair, but gives those unscrupulous companies a pricing advantage in the market place.

While here in Australia we are undertaking reforms to ensure the integrity of our own tax system, this is a global problem that requires global cooperation and the G20 is well-placed to take action.

I have written to my G20 colleagues calling on us all to step up our efforts to work together to ensure international tax standards keep pace with the changing nature of global commerce.

By providing an avenue to address practical policy concerns while also delivering important global economic reforms, the G20 will continue to cement its place as the world's most important forum for economic growth and stability. 

In Moscow I will also meet with a number of my G20 colleagues, including the Finance Minister of Indonesia, Mr Agus Martowardojo and the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Japan, Mr Tarō Asō.

In December 2012 Australia took its place on the G20 "troika" joining Mexico and Russia on the group of past, present and future chairs that manages the G20.  As part of this group, Australia will play an enhanced role in guiding the G20's work in the lead-up to our G20 Presidency in 2014.

As part of this role, I will speak on the G20 agenda to a meeting of Finance Ministers with the President of the Russian Federation, Mr Vladimir Putin.