G20 summit 2014: Vladimir Putin walkout eclipses pledges made in Brisbane

 
Chris Papadopoullos
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President Vladimir Putin departs Brisbane Airport after the the G20 summit (Source: Getty)
G20 leaders promised market-led reforms to boost growth at the weekend’s summit in Brisbane that saw Russian President Vladimir Putin controversially leaving early and further progress made on a free trade agreement between the US and EU.

“We are implementing structural reforms to lift growth and private sector activity, recognising that well-functioning markets underpin prosperity,” an official statement said.

It is hoped the reforms can add an extra 2.1 per cent of growth to the G20 by 2018.

Putin – who had stationed four warships near Australian waters prior to the event – left early after facing mass criticism for Russia’s role in the annexation of Crimea.

Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott, US President Barack Obama, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper were openly critical of the Russian President.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU was considering further sanctions against Russian individuals and spent hours discussing the situation with Putin.

Meanwhile, David Cameron said “rocket boosters” have been put under a new free trade deal between the EU and the US after a successful set of discussions.

He believes the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership can boost growth, jobs and investment. Cameron was also keen to rebut claims that the trade agreement could potentially harm the National Health Service.

“There’s no threat, I believe, from TTIP to the National Health Service, and we should knock that on the head as an empty threat.”

G20 members also said they had made significant progress on new international tax rules aimed at cracking down on tax avoidance – the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Action Plan. According to an official statement, the G20 nations are committed to finalising the new tax proposals in 2015.

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