Updated: 12/02/2013 08:27 | By Agence France-Presse

Abbott says no 'talkfest' at G20 under Australia

Prime Minister Tony Abbott pledged Monday that the G20 under Australian leadership will be focused on boosting economic growth and said he is determined the grouping will not be a "talkfest".


Abbott says no 'talkfest' at G20 under Australia

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrives for Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra on November 21, 2013

Australia took over the chairmanship of the group that brings together the world's top economies on Sunday and stages the annual summit in Brisbane next November.

"I am determined the G20 won't be a talkfest," Abbott wrote in The Australian newspaper. "It must be practical and focused.

"Our actions in Brisbane will be focused on removing the international impediments to trade, jobs and growth and identifying real solutions to issues such as lifting workforce participation rates and funding infrastructure."

The straight-talking prime minister pointed out that Australia, the 12th largest economy in the world, "is currently in its 22nd consecutive year of growth".

Abbott outlined his government's effort to fast-track free trade agreements with South Korea, Japan, China, Indonesia and India to help spur growth.

"A stronger world economy means more jobs, more confidence and more tax revenue that can be used to pay down debt," he said.

"This is what we must work towards. The G20 demonstrated its dynamism and strength during the GFC (global financial crisis). The challenge is to be relevant when there is no immediate crisis to deal with."

He said one area of focus would be infrastructure.

"The world needs more infrastructure investment because building infrastructure drives growth and makes economies more productive in the longer term," he said. 

"We need to encourage greater private-sector involvement and help capital markets better channel global savings to productive investments."

In the run-up to the G20 summit, Australia hosts meetings of the forum's finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Sydney in February and in Cairns in September.

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