Treasurer Joe Hockey believes the G20 is finally making progress on its growth agenda for the first time in years.

The G20 finance ministers meeting in Cairns will be a show-and-tell on how the group is progressing to achieve its two per cent growth target.

The forum of the world’s richest developed and developing countries struck on that commitment under the leadership of Treasurer Joe Hockey in February.

He concedes two per cent was an ambitious target when the G20 was suffering policy fatigue after eight years of dealing with the global financial crisis and its aftermath.

“But without a combination of agreed ambition and mutual pressure very little will ever be achieved,” he told a business gathering in Melbourne on Friday.

The growth target, which aims for two per cent additional growth over the next five years, has galvanised a new spirit of co-operation across the G20.

Mr Hockey will chair the Cairns meeting on September 20-21 as part of Australia’s presidency of the G20.

At the meeting, the plans of Australia and for all other G20 nations will be laid bare to each other.

“We’ll assess those plans and whether we are going to meet our two per cent goal,” Mr Hockey said.

Even so, the commitment already had spurred hundreds of plans that will create millions of new jobs globally.

The treasurer believes the G20 has made more progress on its growth agenda than in any previous year.

The Cairns meeting would lay down the framework for the November meeting of G20 leaders in Brisbane.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen told reporters in Sydney that Mr Hockey should stop “lecturing” the G20 and get on with implementing a real plan for generating economic growth in Australia.


* Boosting new private investment, particular in infrastructure

* Domestic reforms in the area of competition and deregulation

* Implementing polices to increase employment and participation in the workforce

* Closer economic ties across the G20