Australia urges G20 crackdown on tax avoidance

Corporate tax must be paid in the country in which the revenues are generated, Tony Abbott, Australia's Prime Minister and the current chair of the G20, told the World Economic Forum in Davos.

In a speech on Thursday, he vowed to combat firms that chased tax opportunities and to push for private-sector led growth.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey on Tuesday said that chief executive officers from around the world are in favor of an overhaul of the international tax system. The report showed that nearly two-thirds of respondents believe in the need for change.

Tony Abbott
Lisa Maree Williams | Getty Images
Tony Abbott

The Australian Prime Minister urged governments to roll back protectionist measures put in place since the financial crisis and instead promote global trade and low taxes.

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"As a trading nation Australia will make the most of its G20 presidency to promote free trade," Abbott said.

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Governments cannot spend what they haven't got, Abbott added, and they shouldn't address debt and deficits with yet more debt and deficits. Abbott, who is the leader of the center-right Liberal Party won a landslide victory in Australia in September, ending six years of Labor-party rule.

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"Profit is not a dirty word," he told attendees at the World Economic Forum. "As soon as people have economic freedom they create markets...human freedom is less a threat than an opportunity."

Australia is set to host the ninth meeting of the G-20 heads of government in Brisbane in November 2014.

By CNBC.com's Matt Clinch. Follow him on Twitter @mattclinch81

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