Tomorrow I will meet in Washington with senior US Administration Officials prior to attending the G20 Leaders' Meeting in Pittsburgh.
In Washington I will discuss current developments in the US and global economies and continue preparations for the G20 Leaders' Summit with senior US Administration Officials. I will also meet with financial sector representatives and key policy leaders to discuss the challenges facing the US economy as well as Australia's experiences during the global recession.
While the pace of contraction in US economic activity has slowed, the fall in US GDP over the year to June is the worst since quarterly data began in 1947. Around a third of US industrial capacity has laid idle since the beginning of the year and unemployment is now at 9.7 per cent.
The Prime Minister and I will attend the G20 Leaders' Summit in Pittsburgh on Thursday and Friday to discuss the ongoing efforts to tackle the global recession and its long-term consequences.
Since the London Summit in April there have been encouraging signs that global financial markets have stabilised and that we have succeeded in avoiding further falls in economic growth. The global recovery however remains fragile and G20 members are committed to fully delivering on their stimulus plans which are so critical to support jobs and growth.
G20 Leaders and Finance Ministers will also be tackling the regulatory shortfalls exposed by the global financial crisis and reforms to the International Monetary Fund. The Pittsburgh Summit will play a key role in working toward a coordinated strategy to guide the eventual unwinding of extraordinary interventions when the time is right. It will also work towards building a more secure foundation for balanced and sustainable economic growth once recovery is assured.
Climate change will also be an important topic for discussion as we seek to reach global agreement at the Copenhagen Summit in December.
While in the US, I will also meet with financial sector representatives in New York on Saturday to discuss conditions in US financial markets and to promote the stability and strength of the Australian financial sector and the broader Australian economy.
22 September 2009