Australian PM to visit Canada for meeting with G20 on bank tax

June 23, 2010 10:21 pm 

CANBERRA, June 23 — Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will head to Canada for a meeting of G20 leaders, where he will resist a push by Europe and the United States to impose a levy on banks, Australia's media reported on Wednesday.

In Toronto, Rudd will take on Britain, France and Germany who want other countries to follow their lead and impose a levy on the banks to deal with the financial crisis that has beset their economies.

The United States is another key supporter of the bank levy.

While Australia has been a strong advocate of better regulatory systems to try to prevent another global financial meltdown, Rudd warned against a one-size-fits-all approach.

He told reporters the G20 needed to be mindful that some nations, such as Australia and Canada, had emerged from the crisis with their financial systems intact.

"What I am most concerned about is the regulatory burden being imposed from on high, which would have an effect on the cost of finance here in Australia," Rudd told Australian Associated Press. "That's the bottom line for me."

Rudd wanted to ensure any agreement from the G20 recognizes the "robustness" of the Australian financial system.

As countries try to gauge the likelihood of the economy falling into another slump, the G20 will canvass a range of measures to try to better regulate financial markets.

U.S. President Barack Obama has already written to other leaders, urging them to hold their nerve and not to withdraw their stimulus packages too early in a bid to trim their deficits.

"To support the recovery and strengthen the ability of our financial systems to deliver needed credit, we must maintain the momentum of financial repair," Obama said in a letter written last week, according to media report.

The G20 meeting will be Rudd's first overseas trip this year, and he was expected to use the visit to conduct a series of bilateral meetings.

On top of the agenda will be a meeting with Obama, who has twice delayed a visit to Australia this year, and Britain's new prime minister, David Cameron.

Rudd will take part in a round-table meeting with chief executives on Saturday morning and address a business lunch a few hours later.

He will leave Toronto on Sunday night and head to Wellington for his first full bilateral visit to New Zealand. (PNA/Xinhua) LOR/utb


Comments are closed.