Australian Treasurer urges G20 for flexible currencies

16:49, October 19, 2010      

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Any outbreaks of protectionism among Group of 20 nations would be "profoundly damaging" for an export-rich country like Australia, Treasurer Wayne Swan told parliament on Tuesday.

Swan hoped this weekend's G20 meeting held in South Korea will discuss structural reforms to re-balance the global economy, and provides greater flexibility in currency markets.

"We don't want to see this debate descend into another bout of protectionism - the race to the bottom," Swan said in Canberra.

"Countries like Australia would be major losers if that was to occur in the global economy," Swan said. The Australian dollar hit parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time in 28 years on Friday, before easing to trade back below 0.985 U.S. dollars on Monday.

According to Swan, the current high level of the Australian dollar reflected the strength of the economy and commodity prices being at their highest levels in more than 20 years.

However, a high Australian dollar also made it difficult for many exporters, small businesses and tourism industry, the Treasurer said.

Source: Xinhua


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