G20 will do whatever it takes to overcome coronavirus pandemic: Statement

G20 virual summit. (AFP)

The G20 leaders say the world's leading economies will do whatever it takes to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, adding that tackling the pandemic and its intertwined health, social, and economic impacts is the “absolute priority,” according to the summit's final statement.

The leaders will commit to sharing epidemiological and health data, strengthening health systems globally, and expanding the manufacturing capacity of medical supplies, said the statement issued after an emergency virtual summit on coronavirus.

The leaders also said they were committed to resolving disruptions to global supply chains and asked finance ministers and central bank governors to coordinate regularly together and with international organizations to develop an action plan in response to the pandemic.

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“We are injecting over $5 trillion into the global economy, as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic, and financial impacts of the pandemic,” the statement added.

The leaders expressed concern “with the serious risks posed ... particularly on developing and least developed countries, and notably in Africa and small island states,” adding that refugees and displaced persons face “particular risk.”

The final communique of the virtual G20 emergency summit chaired by King Salman said that the body would also focus on providing “bold and large-scale fiscal support.”

“Collective G20 action will amplify its impact, ensure coherence, and harness synergies. The magnitude and scope of this response will get the global economy back on its feet and set a strong basis for the protection of jobs and the recovery of growth. We ask our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to coordinate on a regular basis to develop a G20 action plan in response to COVID-19 and work closely with international organizations to swiftly deliver the appropriate international financial assistance,” the final communique read.

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Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states have been relatively successful in containing the virus, but infections have spiraled out of control in Iran, much of Europe and the United States. On top of the economic hit from lockdowns to slow the spread of coronavirus, Saudi Arabia has been hurt by a dramatic fall in oil prices.

The G20 summit has said it would also work to support extraordinary measures taken by central banks consistent with their mandates during the coronavirus pandemic crisis.

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“Central banks have acted to support the flow of credit to households and businesses, promote financial stability, and enhance liquidity in global markets. We welcome the extension of swap lines that our central banks have undertaken. We also support regulatory and supervisory measures taken to ensure that the financial system continues to support the economy and welcome the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) announced coordination of such measures,” leaders of the G20 said in the joint final communique.

With agencies

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Last Update: 16:17 KSA 19:17 - GMT 16:17
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