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G-20 summit could adopt joint action plan to fight Covid-19

The leaders are expected to chalk out a joint action plan to handle the economic fallout of the pandemic. The idea of a virtual G-20 summit was mooted by Modi. Last week, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Modi had discussed the feasibility of the summit.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2020, 10.03 AM IST
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Agencies
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PM Narendra Modi
Coronavirus
NEW DELHI: In a major show of unity against the Covid-19 virus outbreak, G-20 leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take part in an extraordinary Summit on Thursday evening to advance a coordinated global response to the pandemic and its economic implications.

The leaders are expected to chalk out a joint action plan to handle the economic fallout of the pandemic.

The idea of a virtual G-20 summit was mooted by Modi. Last week, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Modi had discussed the feasibility of the summit.

Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will chair the meet as Saudi Arabia holds the presidency of the 2020 G-20.

G-20 members will be joined by leaders from Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland, as well as international organizations -- United Nations (UN), World Bank Group (WBG), the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Trade Organization (WTO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Regional organizations will be represented by Vietnam - the Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), South Africa - the Chair of the African Union (AU), the United Arab Emirates - the Chair of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Rwanda - the Chair of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

Earlier on Monday, finance ministers and central bank governors of G20 countries held a virtual meeting to develop a joint action plan which will outline individual and collective measures that the world’s top 20 economies are taking to combat the pandemic.

They discussed ways to step up coordinated efforts by bilateral and multilateral creditors to address the risks of debt vulnerability, especially in low-income countries, according to an official statement.

The finance ministers and central bank governors also discussed the role of the IMF and of working closely with the World Bank Group and other international financial institutions to deploy all available resources and explore additional measures to support financial stability and alleviate liquidity constraints for emerging markets and developing economies.

Mohammed Aljadaan, the Saudi finance minister, opened the virtual meeting by stressing on the need to step up joint efforts and act decisively in a coordinated manner to provide support to people and businesses, safeguard the stability of the global economy and financial markets, restore confidence, and prevent deep and prolonged negative economic impacts.

He said that “since the last meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in February, the global economy outlook has significantly deteriorated and that the evolution and global spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the global economy at the backdrop of disruption in elements of both supply and demand”, according to the statement.

The participants agreed to closely monitor the evolution of the pandemic, including its impact on markets and economic conditions, and take further actions to support the economy during and after this phase.

The Saudi finance minister highlighted that the G20 should be ready to undertake further emergency responses to address the global crisis.

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