Extraordinary Virtual G20 Summit Discusses Fight against COVID-19, Human and Economic Loses
The G20 is committed to fight Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, minimize disruptions to trade and global supply chain, and provide help to all countries in need of assistance.
The statement was made by Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani after accompanying President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo attends the Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit from the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java, Thursday (26/3).
She went on to say that the G20 leaders’ commitments are also in line with commitments generated from the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting which was held virtually two days ago.
“G20 is committed to minimize disruptions to global supply chain particularly for medical equipment and medical tools that are highly needed in this situation,” the Minister said adding that the Group will also provide help and enhance cooperation with impoverished countries.
Regarding efforts to combat COVID-19 pandemic, the leaders are focused on protecting lives since the virus is not only considered a health issue but this could be a tragedy for humanity.
“Thus, all countries must do whatever it takes to minimize the spread of the virus. That is their main focus,” she added.
In addition, the G20 will collaborate with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) to work together to develop COVID-19 vaccine.
“Finance Ministers Meeting has indicated to allocate a budget of US$4 billion to accelerate research for the COVID-19 vaccine. All countries in the world, particularly the G20 members, are going to pitch in,” she said.
In a bid to improve supply of medical equipment, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank will prioritize support for companies that can supply the desperately needed medical equipment such as protective gear, test kits, and ventilators.
“Indonesia could also have a chance because Indonesia has the capacity to supply protective gear and hand sanitizer,” Sri said.
The Minister went on to say that each country must share knowledge with other countries on COVID-19 mitigation so that the combat against the pandemic will be more effective.
On that occasion, the Finance Minister also asserted efforts to fight against recession as the impact of the pandemic. It requires policy instruments and monetary policies such as policy on interest rate and relaxation, as well as support on liquidity needs, and foreign exchange needs.
For the record, many emerging and low-income countries are facing issue of foreign exchange liquidity and capital flight. Thus, the IMF is now supporting the finance of the countries through direct swap lines as a breakthrough to countries that used to have stable economic state but now have to face foreign exchange liquidity risk.
“Relaxation will be carried out on banking sector. In addition, many countries also implement fiscal instruments and intervention. However, the main focus is still the issue of health (COVID-19),” she concluded. (FID/MAY)
Translated by : Rany Anjany S
Reviewed by: Mia Medyana B