Moscow: Governments that manipulate their currencies are a hindrance to global growth, Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said at the meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers in Moscow.
"Market-based exchange rates, fiscal and monetary policies supporting jobs and growth; that's the core of the G-20 agenda," Swan said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Saturday. "To have people artificially target their exchange rates completely repudiates that approach."
Swan and his peers in Moscow have sharpened their stance against governments trying to influence exchange rates, as they seek to tame speculation of a global currency war without singling out Japan for criticism. With the yen near its lowest level against the dollar since 2010, policy makers are attempting to soothe concern that some countries are trying to weaken exchange rates to spur growth through exports.
Swan, who has been attempting to reduce the negative effects that the high Australian dollar has had on domestic exports and the manufacturing and service industries, declined to specify that Japan had manipulated the yen to his nation's detriment.
The yen's devaluation was "a matter for the market," he said. "The Japanese approach is one to stimulate their domestic economy. That is also good for the global economy."
Australian policy makers are aiming to rebalance Australia's two-speed economy, where mining regions in the north and west thrive off of Chinese demand while manufacturers and retailers in the south and east struggle under the strength of the local currency.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, whose ruling minority Labor government announced a A$1 billion programme in Melbourne yesterday designed to spur manufacturing. It included A$500 million to establish 10 "industry innovation precincts" and A$350 million toward the Innovation Investment Fund in a bid to boost start-up companies.