G20 warns of fragility of global economic recovery

12 July, 2021 12:00 AM printer

VENICE: The world economic recovery is fragile and is at risk from a surge in coronavirus variants and the divergence in access to vaccines between developed and low-income countries, finance ministers of the world’s 20 largest economies said.

The global economic outlook has improved since G20 financial policymakers last met in April because of efforts to roll out mass inoculation programmes across countries and fiscal and monetary support packages. However, downside risks remain as the virus continues to evolve and variants such as Delta continue to spread, the G20 said on Saturday, report agencies.

“The recovery is characterised by great divergences across and within countries and remains exposed to downside risks, in particular the spread of new variants of the Covid-19 virus and different paces of vaccination,” the group said in a joint communique after the two-day meeting of its finance ministers and central bank governors in Venice, Italy.

In their first face-to-face meeting since the pandemic began, finance chiefs of the G20 reaffirmed their “resolve to use all available policy tools for as long as required” to address the adverse consequences of the pandemic, especially on the most affected, such as women, youths and informal and low-skilled workers.

“We will continue to sustain the recovery, avoiding any premature withdrawal of support measures, while remaining consistent with central bank mandates – including on price stability.”

They also pledged to preserve financial stability and “long-term fiscal sustainability and safeguarding against downside risks and negative spill-overs”.

While they welcomed commitments to achieve equitable vaccination distribution, the G20 did not lay out measures as to how it plans to achieve that goal.

“The G20 recognises the role of immunisation as a global public good and reiterate its support for all collaborative efforts,” Italy’s Finance Minister Daniele Franco told a press conference on Saturday.