This publication provides summary data on both Australia's trade and investment relationships with the Group of Twenty (G20) members as well as G20 members' trade with the world.
The Group of Twenty (G20) comprises 19 major economies plus the European Union. It is a forum for international economic cooperation and in 2014 continues its focus on lifting growth and jobs.
The G20 started in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. In 2008, the first G20 Leaders Summit was held, and the group played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis. Its decisive and coordinated actions boosted consumer and business confidence and supported the first stages of economic recovery. G20 leaders have met eight times since 2008. The 2014 Summit under Australia’s Presidency will be held in Brisbane on 15 and 16 November.
Australia’s 2014 agenda focuses on three key themes: (i) growth and jobs, (ii) global resilience and (iii) the relevance of international institutions to 21st century issues. Trade is a key part in this agenda.
On 19 July 2014, Australia hosted a Trade Ministers meeting in Sydney. Ministers and representatives of international organisations discussed the trade actions G20 members are taking as part of their comprehensive growth strategies that aim to lift collective GDP by more than 2 per cent above the current trajectory over the next five years. They agreed that G20 members needed to make further contributions to promote trade in their growth strategies. These strategies will form the Brisbane Action Plan to be presented to Leaders at the Summit in November.
G20 countries account for nearly 68 per cent of Australia’s goods and services trade and over 65 per cent of inward investment in Australia. Australia is looking for domestic trade actions as part of G20 countries` comprehensive growth strategies that work towards removing obstacles to trade and enhancing countries’ ability to participate in global value chains (GVCs). The OECD has found that income from trade in GVCs has doubled between 1995 and 2009, benefiting both advanced and emerging economies.
Each year the G20 president invites several guest countries to participate in G20 events and contribute to the agenda. In 2014 Australia welcomes Spain as a permanent invitee; Mauritania as the 2014 chair of the African Union; Myanmar as the 2014 Chair of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN); Senegal, representing the New Partnership for Africa's Development; New Zealand; and Singapore. As guests change each year, this publication does not include statistics for Mauritania, Myanmar, New Zealand, Senegal, Singapore or Spain.