Today I will be travelling to Baden-Baden, Germany, to attend the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting under Germany’s 2017 G20 Presidency.
The meeting is an opportunity to discuss developments in the global economy with my international counterparts and decide on actions we can undertake to respond to the major challenges we all face.
There have been increasing signs of a more positive outlook for the global economy in recent months, with growth expected to edge higher over the next few years. At the same time, we are facing a period of uncertainty, with rising protectionist sentiment in many economies threatening continued economic openness and prosperity.
As Australians we have benefited greatly from open trade and investment. I will emphasise to my colleagues the importance of keeping markets open and ensuring we maintain a strong and secure global trading system.
Germany has committed to progressing work on reforming the international financial architecture, regulation of the financial sector and international taxation. During the tax discussions, I will highlight the need for a modern tax system that promotes certainty and supports growth.
I am also pleased that Germany has organised a G20 High-Level Symposium on Global Economic Governance. The global rules‑based economic order has benefited Australia over many decades. Instead of retreating to protectionism and other inward looking policies, we need to deepen and broaden our international economic cooperation. I will use the Symposium to reiterate the importance of the G20 and other international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
In addition to attending the G20 meeting and the Economic Governance Symposium, I will hold a number of discussions to strengthen our relationship with countries of economic significance to Australia. I will be holding discussions for the first time with the new United States Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, as well as China’s newly appointed Finance Minister, Xiao Jie. I also plan to have discussions with Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Argentina’s new Minister of the Treasury, Nicolás Dujovne, who will be hosting next year’s G20 meetings.
I look forward to representing Australia’s interests during these important discussions with my international counterparts.