NSW premier welcomes G20 meeting in Sydney

altNSW Premier Barry O’Farrell says he’s delighted Sydney has been chosen to host the world’s finance ministers and central bank governors in 2014 after missing out on the G20 proper.

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan on Tuesday announced the harbour city will host the G20 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ meetings.

It’s expected to attract up to 2000 delegates and support staff, including international media.

The meetings would put Sydney in the international spotlight, and provide an important lead-up to Brisbane’s G20 summit of world leaders, Mr Swan said.

“I think it’s fitting at the dawn of the Asian century that the G20 will bring all of these leaders together in Australia,” he said.

“It’s a great opportunity for Australia to showcase to the world our outstanding economic performance, but also an opportunity to showcase to the world our commitment to reform in the global economy which will drive growth and will drive jobs.”

Canberra’s decision last month to hand Brisbane the G20 leaders meeting angered the NSW government, with Planning Minister Brad Hazzard accusing federal Labor of trying to win back votes in Queensland.

The federal government blamed the snub on the redevelopment of the Sydney Convention Centre facilities and ongoing concerns about capacity constraints at Sydney Airport.

But asked if Sydney hosting the Finance Ministers meeting was a consolation prize for being overlooked for the leaders’ summit, Mr O’Farrell said, “let’s look on the positive (side)”.

“Two-thousand visitors to Sydney is more jobs and growth to the state’s economy and that is good for everyone,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“It confirms Sydney is the finance capital of Australia and I’m delighted that is going to happen.”

The Sydney Business Chamber said giving the city the finance ministers meeting was “commonsense”, after its criticism of the federal government’s decision to hold the G20 leader meeting in Brisbane.

“It will highlight that Sydney is the banking and financial capital of Australia and one of the Asia Pacific’s key banking and finance centres,” said chamber executive director Patricia Forsythe.

“Hosting this meeting in Sydney, at a time when our convention and exhibition centre will be undergoing a much-needed upgrade, sends a strong message that we continue to be open for business when it comes to major international events.”

A date for the G20 Finance Ministers meetings is yet to be set.

Source: www.news.com.au

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