Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, participated in the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting on 23 March 2020. This meeting was the first of its kind as it was held virtually due to the global Coronavirus crisis.
G20 ministers of Finance and central banks governors have agreed on measures to reduce the repercussions of the coronavirus on the global economy.
G20 Finance Meeting Held Virtually
The video conference was co-chaired by Saudi Arabian Finance Minister, Mr Mohammed Al-Jadaan, and Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, Mr Ahmed Alkholifey.
G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors discussed a coordinated international response to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
International Co-operation to Protect Economies Worldwide
Mr Heng Swee Keat said that “the stronger the measures to contain the pandemic, the more severe the impact on our economies.”
“We must be prepared to take short-term pains to avoid bigger losses and within each country, we will need to use fiscal tools to preserve jobs, help companies with credit facilities, and support vulnerable households. We can learn from one another.” said the Singapore Deputy Prime Minister
The Minister also called on the G20 to show a sign of unity in tackling COVID-19, and to co-ordinate international fiscal and monetary measures to help the global economy recover.
The meeting discussed methods that can be adopted to intensify efforts of bilateral and multilateral lenders to address the risks of debt sustainability, especially in low-income countries.
Leaders to reconvene to discuss Coronavirus action plan
The leaders also agreed to adopt additional measures to support the economy during the current crisis and prepare for the period afterwards, in addition to developing a joint action plan to respond to the pandemic repercussions.
Leaders from the Group of 20 major economies will reconvene by video conference on Thursday to discuss the coronavirus epidemic.