G20 Ministers call for continued Covid spending


Finance Ministers and central bank governors from the world’s largest economies have agreed on continued financial backing for countries struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic “as long as required”, said the co-chair of a virtual G20 summit.

At the summit on Wednesday, Daniele Franco, Italy’s Minister of Economy and Finance, said confronting the economic damage from the pandemic is the G20’s top priority, reports Xinhua news agency.

Franco said the participants at the second G20 meeting of the year agreed to use “all available policy tools for as long as required” in order to save lives and livelihoods.

Franco also said increasing the global availability of coronavirus vaccines in an “equitable and accessible” way was part of that effort.

Franco and Ignazio Visco, Governor of the Bank of Italy and the other co-chair of the talks, spoke to more than 100 reporters on Wednesday via video hook-up from Rome.

That was the same format used by Ministers and governors for the negotiations.

While the coronavirus pandemic was the central topic at the virtual summit of representatives from 19 major economies and the European Union, discussions also touched on other pressing issues, such as the need for global action on climate change and the development of standards for a global corporate tax rate.

Franco noted that the International Monetary Fund had just upped its estimate for GDP)growth to 6.0 per cent, up from 5.5 per cent in January.

He said that was a positive sign, but he warned that the global economic outlook remained “clouded by uncertainty” due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Together, G20 countries account for 80 per cent of the world’s GDP.