This weekend I will be representing Australia at the meeting of G‑20 Finance Ministers in the United Kingdom, as well as meeting with key international bodies such as the IMF and World Bank, as part of our efforts to engage internationally to meet the challenges of this global recession.
The G-20 Meeting will pave the way for the London Summit of G‑20 Leaders on 2 April.
The G-20 Meeting comes at a crucial time for the world economy, with the World Bank just this week forecasting that the global economy will decline in 2009 for the first time since World War II.
The global recession is hitting economies around the world – including Australia – so it is vital that Australia contributes to global responses through G-20.
The G-20 includes all of the world's most structurally important economies and can create a platform to restore global confidence and economic growth.
Through the G-20, Australia has been strongly involved in efforts to achieve a globally coordinated response to the current crisis.
The focus of the meeting will be on measures to help promote the recovery of the global economy. The meeting will assess the impact of measures introduced since last November's Washington Summit and consider what additional measures may be required.
In this regard I will be seeking commitments to address toxic assets on banks' balance sheets in the US and Europe and for countries to undertake further stimulus measures where there is capacity to do so.
This must be accompanied by commitments from G‑20 members to restore a sustainable fiscal position over the medium‑term, once growth has been restored.
I will be seeking to build support for major IMF reform and to ensure progress on measures to strengthen financial regulation.
I will also encourage G-20 members to maintain momentum on the implementation of the 47 point Action Plan contained in the Washington Declaration.
I will be accompanied by Mr Glenn Stevens, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.
13 March 2009