G20 meeting targets an additional 2% economic growth

Meeting of G20 finance ministers and bankers The meeting brought together leading finance ministers and bankers

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Financial leaders from the 20 biggest economies have set a goal of generating $2 trillion (£1.2 trillion) in extra output over the next five years.

During that period they aim to boost the gross domestic product of G20 countries by 2% above the levels currently expected.

It is hoped the move will create tens of million of new jobs.

The goal was announced at the Group of 20 weekend meeting in Sydney. The main G20 meeting is in Brisbane in November.

'Unprecedented'

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said the agreement was essential for "turning the next page'' in the global economic recovery.

"G20 members have spoken clearly: boosting growth and demand tops the global economic agenda," he said in a statement.

And Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey heralded the announcement from finance ministers and central bankers as being "unprecedented".

He added: "We are putting a number to it for the first time - putting a real number to what we are trying to achieve."

The communiqué from the group, which represents about 85% of the global economy, also said they would take concrete action to increase investment and employment.

The G20 major industrialised nations include the US as well as emerging economies such as Saudi Arabia and China.

Each country will now present a detailed growth strategy to the G20 November summit.

Tax issues

Another topic discussed at this weekend's meeting was the need to develop stricter rules on cross-border taxation.

Profit shifting by firms away from high tax nations to lower taxation regimes has sparked public and political fury in the UK and US.

Firms in the spotlight have included Starbucks, Google, Apple and Amazon.

The G20 has now come up with a set of common standards for sharing bank account information across borders.

An automatic exchange of information among G20 members will take effect by the end of 2015.

"Some multinational companies aren't paying their fair share of tax anywhere," said Australian Finance Minister Joe Hockey. "We want a global response."

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