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Australian treasurer welcomes Euromoney's 2011 Finance Minister award

09-21-2011 11:05 BJT

CANBERRA, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan has been named Euromoney's Finance Minister of the Year, and the treasurer on Wednesday said the award is an achievement for the country.

The London-based finance Euromoney magazine has awarded Swan as 2011's finance minister of the year for his "careful stewardship" of Australia's finances and economic performance both during and since the global financial crisis.

This is only the second time an Australian has won the prestigious award in its 29-year history, with former Labor treasurer (and later prime minister) Paul Keating won the award in 1984.

Swan, who has been treasurer since Labor was elected to power in November 2007, saw the 2011 award as an achievement for the country.

"This is a real tribute to the millions of ordinary Australians whose hard work and resilience have made our economy one of the strongest in the developed world," Swan said in a statement.

To further point out the strength of the nation's economy, Swan said the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) latest world economic outlook confirms that the Australian economy has strong fundamentals and is well positioned to benefit from growth in the region.

He noted that China and India continue to lead the recovery in Pacific Asia region and are forecast to grow by 9.5 percent and 7. 8 percent respectively in 2011, and 9.0 percent and 7.5 percent respectively in 2012.

"Despite suffering the most costly natural disasters in our history, and ongoing global instability, the IMF forecasts that the Australian economy will grow by 3.3 percent in 2012, which far exceeds its forecast for advanced economies as a whole," he said.

"The global outlook as outlined by the IMF raises the stakes for major economies to take credible and swift action to address economic problems. Nations need to work together to tackle this economic volatility with the same determination that saw us stare down the global financial crisis."

Morgan Stanley CEO Steven Harker said Swan "successfully" led the economy through the most difficult economic period the world has faced since the 1930s.

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said it was both " great recognition" for the treasurer and a "vote of confidence" in the Australia's economy.

However, Coalition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said it was hard to take the award seriously.

"Swan has racked up 158 billion U.S. dollars of deficits, he's yet to deliver a budget surplus and has turned 46 billion U.S. dollars in the bank into a 113-billion-dollar credit card bill," he said in the statement.

"The real recipient of this award should be Peter Costello, who laid the groundwork for Wayne Swan.

Euromoney has praised Swan over an economy which grew 1.2 percent in the June quarter while most of the world's developed economies stalled, while unemployment at 5.3 percent is roughly half that of the U.S. and Europe.

The award will be presented to Swan on Sept. 25 at the World Bank/International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington of the United States.


Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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