Hosted by Saudi Arabia, G20 vows to keep cooperating to bolster global economy

Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed al-Jadaan wears a protective mask as he attends a virtual meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Riyadh. (Reuters)

Finance officials from the Group of 20 major economies vowed on Saturday to continue using “all available policy tools” to fight the coronavirus pandemic and bolster the global economy, warning that the outlook remains highly uncertain.

G20 finance ministers and central bankers, in a communique issued after a virtual meeting on Saturday, said the global economy would recover as economies gradually reopen, but said further actions were needed to ensure growth.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“We are determined to continue to use all available policy tools to safeguard people’s lives, jobs, and incomes, support global economic recovery, and enhance the resilience of the financial system, while safeguarding against downside risks,” they said in statement after the meeting ended.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, has infected more than 14.14 million people and killed 596,576​, according to a Reuters tally. The United States, the world’s largest economy, tops the list of deaths.

Sweeping shutdowns aimed at halting the spread of the disease have caused massive disruption to the global economy, and are hitting the world’s poorest countries hardest.

G20 finance officials said 42 of the world’s 73 poorest countries had requested a freeze in official bilateral debt payments through the end of the year, amounting to about $5.3 billion in deferred payments.

Reflecting concerns raised by the World Bank that China, a G20 member and the largest creditor to developing countries, was not participating fully, the officials urged all official bilateral creditors to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) fully and transparently.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

They also “strongly encouraged” private creditors to participate on comparable terms, and said they would consider extending the debt standstill in the second half of 2020.

Private creditors had not received any formal requests from countries for debt service suspension under the G20 initiative, the Institute for International Finance (IIF) said on Wednesday, ahead of Saturday’s meeting.

Read more:

Hosted by Saudi Arabia, G20 Ministers discuss economic recovery amid coronavirus

Saudi Arabia leads G20 efforts to unite the world in coronavirus response

Saudi Arabia to host G20 Summit in November 2020 in Riyadh

“We encourage the private sector investors to participate in this, but we need to be very careful not to interfere on private agreements,” Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said in a press conference at the end of the meeting.

Saudi Arabia is the current G20 chair.

The officials also reaffirmed their commitment to resolving differences over how to tax digital services and reaching a broad, consensus-based solution this year.

They said they expected to see proposals on international tax reform by October, when they meet again.

“Fair taxation of international companies and large digital groups is more urgent than ever,” German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said after the meeting.

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Saturday, 18 July 2020 KSA 21:41 - GMT 18:41
Top