G-20 Economy Chiefs Hold Emergency Call on Virus Action Plan

(Bloomberg) -- Finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 nations joined an emergency call on Monday to discuss the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy and work toward a joint response.

“We need to consolidate our efforts to support the containment of the virus, the maintenance of medical systems and the development of drugs and vaccines,” Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters after the call. “Nations should carry out the ample economic fiscal measures needed.”

The impact of the outbreak on supply chains and consumer demand will likely push the global economy into recession this year. Governments across the world have taken action to slow the spread of the pandemic, including strict nationwide lockdowns.

The G-20 will aim to finalize its action plan at the next virtual meeting in the spring, South Africa National Treasury Director General Dondo Mogajane told Bloomberg after the call. Among the agenda items are getting multilateral institutions including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to respond, he said.

Mogajane also made a plea for greater support for low-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, he said.

“As the impact of this pandemic hits -- obviously it is going to hit -- those countries may not be ready,” he said. “It is important that G-20 countries stand ready to support.”

Coordination among G-20 countries was instrumental for action to stabilize the global economy during the financial crisis that started in 2008.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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