G20 – What to Expect from Italy

G20 – What to Expect from Italy 

G20 finance ministers and central bankers will gather for a video conference led by Italy on Friday, hoping to align plans for relaunching the global economy after the coronavirus pandemic and to limit harm to the worst-off nations shut out of the race for vaccines. 

Beginning at 12:30 pm local time (13.30 GMT+2), the meeting is the first in post for US President Joe Biden’s new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, expected to be far less confrontational than Donald Trump’s representatives at past gatherings. 

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday urged finance ministers of the Group of 20 (G20) to strengthen cooperation to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and boost global recovery. 

The world’s financial leaders are likely to pledge on Friday to support a robust global recovery and to boost the International Monetary Fund’s resources so it can help poorer countries fight off the effects of the global health crisis. 

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the world’s top 20 economies, will hold a video-conference on Friday and the global response to the unprecedented havoc wreaked by the coronavirus on the economy will top the agenda. 

Hopes for constructive discussions at the meeting, chaired by Italy, are high among G20 countries because it is the first since Joe Biden, who vowed to rebuild cooperation in international bodies, became U.S. president. 

The meeting comes as the United States is readying a $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus and the European Union has jointly put together already more than 3 trillion euros to keep the economy going despite COVID-19 lockdowns. 

But despite the large sums, problems with the global rollout of vaccines and the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus mean the future of the recovery remains uncertain. 

While the IMF sees the U.S. economy returning to pre-crisis levels already at the end of this year, it may take Europe until the middle of 2022 to reach that point. 

And while the richest economies can afford to stimulate an economic recovery by borrowing more on the market, poorer ones would benefit from being able to tap credit lines from the IMF – the global lender of last resort. 

The G20 is also likely to agree to extend a suspension of debt servicing for poorer countries by another six months. 

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