Free trade and less government says Australia’s Abbott

Tony Abbott, the Australian prime minister, has been championing small government, private business and free trade.

Speaking at the World Economics Forum in Davos, Abbott said the global economic crisis was “not a crisis of markets but one of governance”, adding that “better governance does not mean more government”.

The prime minister pledged to use Australia’s G20 presidency to promote free trade, emphasising the “absolute centrality” of private business to sustainable economic growth.

While at the helm, he’ll encourage more risk, investment and growth from the private sector.

He’s also appealed to other economies to undo protectionist measures that inhibit free trade.

I want to make this very clear: As a trading nation Australia will make the most of its G20 presidency to promote free trade.

Each country should commit to open up trade through unilateral, bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral actions and through domestic reforms to help businesses engage more fully in private commerce.

This year's G20 must be more than a talk fest.

Global tax fairness, trade and infrastructure financing will form the focus for G20 this year, said Abbott.