Bloomberg News

Australia, China to Back European Growth at G-20, Carr Tells WSJ

May 25, 2012

Australia will support China in pressing for Europe to focus on growth over austerity at next month’s Group of 20 summit in Mexico, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

China sees Australia as an ally in marshaling a G-20 position that global economies have to focus on growth, Carr was cited as saying in Sydney. The minister said he would underline the importance of a return to growth, on which Australia and China are in agreement.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed Carr’s comments and pointed to similar remarks he made earlier this month.

“We spoke about the next G-20 meeting and about our common interest in having members of the G-20 commit themselves to economic growth, and that followed a discussion about the seeming fragility of the economic and political situation in much of Europe,” Carr said May 14 in China, according to his department. “And in that we were as one in wanting to see the G20 commit itself as a forum to policies of sustainable growth.”

The Australian dollar has declined 6.7 percent this month on slower Chinese growth and as speculation mounts that Greece will be forced to exit the euro, triggering a global economic slump. That has intensified debate on whether spending cuts by European nations to pay down debt should be curbed in favor of policies designed to boost growth.

Carr returned from a visit to China, where he met with Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, the newspaper reported on its website. Greece faces a big challenge in holding its society together while it scales back the country’s social entitlements, Carr said, according to the report.

Europe is China’s biggest export destination and China is Australia’s biggest market for overseas shipments, threatening a ripple effect.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Heath in Sydney at mheath1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net


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