‘We will overcome’ coronavirus crisis, vow G20 leaders after video meeting

‘We will overcome’ coronavirus crisis, vow G20 leaders after video meeting

Saudi Arabia holds the current presidency of the G20 grouping. FAYEZ NURELDINE AFP/Archivos

G20 leaders on Thursday said they were committed to presenting a united front against the coronavirus pandemic, calling it their “absolute priority” to tackle its health, social and economic impacts.

During an video conference to discuss the impact of the coronavirus crisis, leaders of the world’s major economies said they were committed to restoring confidence, preserving financial stability and reviving growth.

The G20 leaders 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 organisations to develop an action plan in

The statement came at the end of an extraordinary, 90-minute video conference convened by the world’s major economies to coordinate action over the outbreak that has infected more than 470,000 people and killed more than 21,000 worldwide.

Saudi king calls for coordinated response

Speaking at the start of the virtual meeting, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman called on G20 leaders to boost funding for a coronavirus vaccine, resume the normal flow of goods and services as soon as possible, and help developing countries overcome the global health crisis.

“We must have an effective and coordinated response to this pandemic,” the king said. “On the trade front, the G20 must send a strong signal to restore confidence in the global economy by

resuming, as soon as possible, the normal flow of goods and services, especially vital medical supplies.” The G20, currently chaired by Saudi Arabia, has faced criticism of a slow response to the worsening crisis, which is expected to trigger a global recession.

Some member countries have announced economic stimulus packages to offset broad suspensions of air travel and shutdowns of many businesses. The US Chamber of Commerce urged G20 leaders to match a pledge by countries like Australia and Canada to keep supply

chains open and avoid export controls.

Friction and blame games

King Salman urged cooperation in financing research and development for therapeutics and a vaccine, ensuring the availability of vital medical supplies and equipment, and helping less developed countries build capacities. Chinese President Xi Jinping followed him, advocating joint macroeconomic policies to stop the world from entering recession and stabilise the global industrial supply chain by facilitating trade and removing barriers. Despite calls for cooperation, the G20 risks entanglement in an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and frictions

between the US and China over the origin of the virus.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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