G-20 leaders stick to goal to boost growth by extra 2 percent: Final communique
AA PhotoThe leaders of the world’s largest economies remain committed to a goal of lifting their collective output by an additional 2 percent by 2018, they said in a statement on Nov. 16, even though growth remains uneven and weaker than expected globally, as reported by Reuters.
In their final communique from a summit in Turkey, the leaders of the Group of 20 (G-20) also said they would “carefully calibrate” and “clearly communicate” policy decisions, a nod to the sensitivity of financial markets, which have seen dramatic moves this year on expectations of a U.S. interest rate hike.
The communique, largely unchanged from the draft document reported by Reuters on Nov. 15, also emphasized previous exchange rate commitments and pledges to resist protectionism.
“We remain committed to achieving our ambition to lift collective G-20 GDP by an additional 2 percent by 2018,” the leaders said.
“Our top priority is timely and effective implementation of our growth strategies that include measures to support demand and structural reforms.”
Closing multinationals’ ‘tax loopholes’
World leaders also approved a crackdown on tax avoidance by multinationals such Google, Apple and McDonalds whose rock-bottom tax bills have provoked widespread outrage, as reported by Agence France-Presse.
The leaders put their final seal on a plan to close loopholes that let some big companies shift profits to low-tax nations so as to slash their bills, leaving ordinary tax payers fuming.
It comes a year after the “LuxLeaks” revelations that some of the world’s biggest companies -- including Pepsi and Ikea -- had lowered their tax rates to as little as one percent in secret pacts with tax authorities in Luxembourg.
U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron joined fellow leaders in endorsing a clampdown drawn up by the wealthy nations’ Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
In a joint statement delivered after a two-day summit at the Turkish Mediterranean resort of Antalya, leaders declared that they “strongly urge the timely implementation of the project and encourage all countries and jurisdictions, including developing ones, to participate,” as quoted by AFP.
The OECD calculates that national governments lose $100-240 billion (89-210 billion euros), or 4-10 percent of global tax revenues, every year because of the tax-minimizing schemes of multinationals.
Its 15-point plan, adopted after years of negotiations, seeks to oblige multinationals to pay tax in the country where their main business activity is based.
The package represents “the first substantial -- and overdue -- renovation of the international tax standards in almost a century,” the 34-nation, Paris-based OECD said.
The British-based charity Oxfam said the plan was a “step forward,” as quoted by AFP.
“But until the G-20 supports a reform process that truly tackles harmful tax competition, tax havens and multinationals will continue to gain most from this system, and the poorest countries will be the biggest losers,” Oxfam said in a statement.
The charity urged the G-20 to work with the United Nations, International Monetary Fund and World Bank along with the OECD on a second generation of tax reforms to build on the crackdown.