Australian business leaders, scholars call G20 big opportunity

Updated: 2014-11-13 09:28


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BRISBANE - Australian business leaders and the nation's top academics say the G20 is a landmark event, which will shine a global spotlight on Australia.

Australia China Business Council chief executive Martine Letts told Xinhua that the G20 is a historic moment for Australia and is probably the biggest collection of world leaders that Australia has ever hosted.

"It's a big opportunity for Australia to gauge with the rest of the world and being a trading nation, immensely important for us. The challenge for the G20 will be to keep its focus on the financial and economic agenda," Letts said.

"We have a medium-sized economy at the world table. This is a great opportunity as a country to interact with global leaders."

According to one of Australia's leading academics, the G20 leaders should focus on "grand challenges" and not get sidetracked on short-term political issues.

Prof. Fred Hilmer, president and vice-chancellor of University of New South Wales (UNSW), told Xinhua that he hoped the world leaders focus on global economic growth, employment opportunities, the environment, health challenges, clean water and the " challenges that won't be solved quickly."

"If we are determined and take a long-term view we can solve these issues and this is the real challenge of leadership to tackle the big issues with a long-term view rather than get lost in quick political fixes," Hilmer said.

Hilmer said the presence of the world's leaders in Australia was a great honor, especially the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"The China-Australia relationship is one Australia's most important relationship. It may not be the biggest for China, but it's very important to us. To have President Xi Jinping here for the G20 is always an opportunity to progress agendas and it is a great honor," Hilmer said.