Australia Calls on G-20 to Lead in Global Post-Virus Recovery


(Bloomberg) --

Australia says the Group of 20 nations must take the lead in organizing the global economic recovery after the health threat from the coronavirus starts to recede.

“It must coordinate the lifting of travel, transport and production restrictions, and commit to fiscal actions that will stimulate a rebound in business activity and get people back to work,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was expected to tell a Group of 20 meeting of finance ministers on Tuesday.

As the virus sweeps the world, the G-20 should plan to help put the global economy into “controlled hibernation,” Frydenberg said.

“That is –- finance the global health response, maintain financial stability, minimize job losses, keep businesses going, and ensure the basic needs of the global population are met,” he said. “This includes committing to a G-20 fiscal support target, to encourage all economies to act urgently, and send a clear signal to citizens that the G-20 is doing whatever it takes.”

Frydenberg also emphasized the International Monetary Fund’s role is “critical,” and called on the G-20 to assess the adequacy of its global financial safety net. “If more resources are required then we need to know soon,” he said.

On Monday, Australia unleashed a record A$130 billion ($80 billion) jobs-rescue plan, pledging to subsidize workers’ wages as the coronavirus outbreak wreaks havoc on the economy and throws thousands out of work. The announcement brought total fiscal and monetary stimulus to buttress the economy to A$320 billion, or 16.4% of gross domestic product.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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