Sri Mulyani: G20 Summit Talks About COVID-19 Vaccines, Debt Relaxation
The discussion at this year’s G20 Summit focuses on formulating efforts to rebuild global economy post COVID-19 pandemic as well as accessibility to COVID-19 vaccines, according to Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani.
After accompanying President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo for the summit on Saturday (21/11) from Bogor Presidential Palace, Sri Mulyani said that the G20 Summit focused on discussion on finance track and Sherpa track.
Regarding the finance track, G20 leaders discussed economic recovery efforts, including financing for handling COVID-19 and relaxation of debt payments for low-income countries, she added.
“On the first day, the focus will be on economic recovery and global economic conditions in which all leaders will convey their support from the policy side to jointly rebuild the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
The Minister also explained that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought devastating impacts in many countries; thus, all countries must carry out joint policies to deal with the pandemic and rebuild the economy.
All countries, she added, also need to support economic and financial policies, especially in the fiscal, monetary, and financial sector and although in the third quarter many economies in the G20 countries had shown a reversal, it was still very early and still very fragile.
“The discussion in the finance track includes policies to support economic recovery. This means that fiscal, monetary and financial sector regulations must be implemented until the economy can truly recovers strongly,” she said, adding that the finance track also discussed financing for the COVID-19 vaccine that will use enormous resources and how all countries, especially the developing ones, can get access to vaccines.
“This is where the role of multilateral institutions is very important; how they can provide financial support for developing countries or poor countries so that they get access to the vaccines. Access to vaccines is important because there will be no economic recovery in the world until all countries have access to vaccines,” she said.
The summit also discussed the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), an initiative to provide relaxation facilities for the payment of debts for poor countries that are currently facing very difficult economic and fiscal conditions.
“In the discussion which was later supported by multilateral institutions, such as the IMF and the World Bank, we agreed to provide relaxation for debt repayments. At first it was agreed until the end of this year but it was then extended to mid-2021,” the Minister said, adding that of 77 countries, 46 are eligible to participate in the DSSI.
“During this summit, it is important to support poor countries so that they have better resilience to deal with COVID-19. Moreover, the debt treatment could also be applied for countries that have been members of the Paris Club and those outside the Paris Club. This is one of the most important things,” Sri Mulyani said. (SLN/UN) (EST/EP)