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Brisbane in Lockdown as G20 Summit Nears

  • Phil Mercer

One of Australia’s biggest security operations is underway as delegates arrive for the G20 summit in Brisbane. Economic growth is expected to dominate the gathering of international leaders in the Queensland state capital.

Global growth is at the top of the agenda for this weekend's G20 meeting in Brisbane. Delegates will look at ways to raise their collective output by at least 2 percent above the currently projected level in the next five years.

Officials state this would boost global income by more than $2 trillion and create millions of additional jobs.

The summit in the Queensland state capital aims to achieve these economic goals in “an ambitious and meaningful way.”

Professor Richard Holden from the University of New South Wales Business School believes the key to global growth is freer trade.

“There has been obviously over the last half century or so a huge reduction in tariff and non-tariff trade barriers across the world that has led to a huge increase in international trade that has been hugely beneficial for growth in rich countries and poor countries alike. But there are still quite a lot of trade barriers that are there and one of the things that is key on the agenda is to talk about how to continue to make progress lowering those trade barriers,” said Holden.

The G20 brings together political leaders and central bank governors from 20 major economies, including Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the United States as well as the European Union. The grouping accounts for 85 percent of the world's economy and more than 75 percent of world trade.

The gathering in Queensland is the biggest meeting of international leaders ever seen in Australia.

Parts of Brisbane are in security lockdown and have become heavily fortified security areas. Activists are planning to voice their fears over a range of issues, from globalization to poverty, and climate change to gay rights.

Aboriginal organizations have already marched through the city, highlighting what they have described as the unjust treatment of Australia’s original inhabitants.

Some fringe groups are circulating online a plan to spread “waves of destruction” during the G20 summit that runs from November 15 to 16.

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