G20 summit: Cameron, Obama and world leaders pledge $2 trillion boost and 2.1pc GDP growth by 2018

Lynsey Barber
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G20 leaders have agreed ambitious targets for growth (Source: Getty)

Countries of the G20 have pledged to grow their economies by 2.1 per cent by 2018, adding $2 trillion (£1.25 trillion) to the global economy.

The G20 summit in Brisbane was brought to a close by leaders committing to more than 800 reforms aimed at growing their collective GDP, including employment measures, Infrastructure investment, increasing competition and tax reforms.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the benefits of this ambitious new growth "over and above business as usual trends" would also be felt by countries outside the G20. It’s estimated the pledge would boost non-G20 GDP by at least 0.5 per cent over the next five years.

A $70 trillion (£43 trillion) gap in infrastructure investment needed by 2030 to improve productivity and living standards will be addressed by a Global Infrastructure Hub to drive forward the work of governments, the private sector, multinational development banks and other international organisations.

Leaders also agreed to tackle the global tax system and make sure businesses pay tax in the same place they earn profits to" restore integrity and fairness to the global tax system".

Addressing issues in the global banking industry, Abbott said: “Leaders also endorsed significant measures which will help strengthen the global financial system. These measures will help ensure the circumstances which led to the global financial crisis do not occur again. Banks are now better capitalised, derivative markets are safer and work has progressed to better protect taxpayers if large banks fail. We have reduced risks in the shadow banking sector. Our focus now is to get on with the job of implementing our commitments while remaining alert to new and emerging risks."

Leaders also committed to closing the employment gender gap by 25 per cent, adding more than 100m women to the global workforce by 2025, and also supported action to address climate change.

Speaking at the summit, British Prime Minister David Cameron said there had been unity between European countries and the US on Russia, an issue which has largely overshadowed the G20 summit. In a separate meeting they agreed to maintain sanctions against the country as Putin departed the meeting early.

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