Prime Minister Tony Abbott is on his way to the World Economic Forum meeting in Switzerland, where he’ll showcase his government’s reform agenda.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants to use the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland as a platform to ensure his chairing of the G20 results in more than just a talkfest.
The first Australian prime minister to attend the forum since 2005, Mr Abbott will showcase his government’s reform agenda when the annual meeting kicks off in Davos on Wednesday.
“It’s my intention … to argue for the policies of the new government and do my best to ensure that Australia is seen as an attractive place to invest and do business,” he said in a video recorded before he left.
The WEF’s annual meeting attracts some 2500 business and political leaders to discuss key global issues.
Mr Abbott said he’ll use the forum to set the agenda for when Australia hosts the G20 meeting in Brisbane in November, where he’ll push for action on free trade, taxation and finance.
He said it was important to ensure the G20 provided practical action to build a stronger national and global economy, rather than just sound economic theory.
“The G20 is probably the world’s premier economic grouping and it’s important that this year the G20 is more than just a talkfest,” he said.
But as Mr Abbott was departing, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten marked his 100 days as ALP leader with a series of interviews in which he questioned the government’s ability to protect Australian jobs.
Mr Shorten predicted Mr Abbott could be a one-time prime minister, despite the coalition’s decisive election win last September.
He said he wanted to win the 2016 election “because we have better ideas, not because they break lots of promises and make lots of mistakes”.
“I’m very concerned that this government won’t fight for existing jobs, on the one hand, and, on the other, it doesn’t have any idea what Australia looks like in 2020,” Mr Shorten told Fairfax Media.