Video: Australia faces economic challenge ’45 times more severe’ than Labor during 2008 GFC: PM (Sky News Australia)

Australia faces economic challenge ’45 times more severe’ than Labor during 2008 GFC: PM

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SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia has nominated outgoing Finance Minister Mathias Cormann as its candidate for the next secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.



Mathias Cormann wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos


© Reuters/DENIS BALIBOUSE
FILE PHOTO: 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos

Cormann will be up against candidates that include U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee, deputy White House Chief of Staff Christopher Liddell.

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“We believe the OECD needs the sort of leadership that we think Australia and an Australian can provide,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

“I can think of no finer candidate that Australia can put forward – with his experience.”

The OECD is a organisation of countries that works to promote economic growth, prosperity, and sustainable development.

Belgium-born Cormann will retire from Australian politics this month after seven years as the country’s minister for finance.

Once he has left office, Australia will formally nominate him to lead the OECD, Morrison said. Cormann said he plans to travel to Europe in November to begin lobbying for support.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham will assume the finance portfolio when Cormann leaves parliament.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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(Bloomberg) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government officially nominated former finance minister Bill Morneau to be secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Canadian seeks to replace Angel Gurria, who announced in July that he would not seek a fourth term as chief of the Paris-based OECD. The OECD’s 37 member states have already begun a process aimed at selecting a new secretary general for a five-year term that starts June 1.



Bill Morneau wearing a suit and tie: Morneau portrait


© Bloomberg
Morneau portrait

Bill Morneau.

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Photographer: David Kawai/Bloomberg

Canada is pitching Morneau, 57, as the candidate with the most experience on key global issues given his five-year run as a Group of Seven and G-20 finance minister, as well as being best positioned to broker consensus within the group on divisive issues such as digital taxation.

“There’s an opportunity for me, not just based on my nationality but also based on having sat at the table at the G-20 and the G-7 and other forums, as well as the IMF and World Bank, to actually bridge some differences,” Morneau said in a phone interview with Bloomberg.

One of the biggest areas of contention has been disputes between the U.S. and various European nations on taxing American digital companies like Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

The OECD has been trying to forge an agreement among almost 140 countries on a global tax overhaul to address how multinationals — particularly big technology companies — are taxed.

In addition to digitization, Morneau listed three other key issues the OECD will be tackling within the next five years: helping economies deal with the pandemic, inclusive growth and climate change.

“In each one of these issues, I’ve been directly focused on them over the course of my time as minister of finance,” said Morneau, who