Monday 25 September 2017

G20 investment target plan to spur economy falters

Ali Babacan, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister
Ali Babacan, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister

Dasha Afanasieva and Orhan Coskun

Group of 20 finance ministers look likely to reject a proposal to set countries specific investment targets to spur a global economy which appears increasingly reliant on the United States for growth.

The meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in Istanbul comes as Greece casts a new shadow over Europe, cheap oil plays havoc with inflation and growth forecasts and a strengthening dollar threatens emerging economies.

Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said Turkey - G20 chairman for 2015 - preferred to set binding national investment targets and that the idea was under discussion.

But it appeared to be struggling to win support.

"It would be quite complicated and a bit theoretical," French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told reporters.

"I am pushing for a global objective. Europe can set its own target and deliver on it, but I don't support precise objectives for everyone else." A G20 source said the idea had already been taken off the table.

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said last week the United States could not be "the sole engine of growth" and a senior US official said Washington's message would again be that Europe is not doing enough.

(Reuters)

Irish Independent

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