G-20 leaders vow to take every measure against virus, ensure cross-border flow of essential items

March 26, 2020

 The leaders of the Group of 20 (G-20) major economies pledged Thursday to make every effort to ride out the COVID-19 crisis, saying they will ensure the cross-border flow of key response materials, including medical supplies and agricultural products.

They also agreed to continue “bold and large-scale fiscal support” to minimize the negative impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, according to a joint statement adopted during their special video conference.

“The G-20 is committed to doing whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic,” along with such international organization as the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations and International Monetary Fund (IMF), the statement read.

They promised to use all available policy tools to minimize the economic and social damage from the pandemic, restore global growth, maintain market stability and strengthen resilience.

Especially, the G-20 leaders, including South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said the 19 member states and the European Union will “work to ensure the flow of vital medical supplies, critical agricultural products, and other goods and services across borders and work to resolve disruptions to the global supply chains.”

On trade, the leaders vowed partnerships to facilitate that and coordinate responses “in ways that avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade.”

They pointed out that the advanced economies are injecting more than US$4.8 trillion into the global economy as part of “targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic.”

The statement added, “We will continue to conduct bold and large-scale fiscal support. Collective G-20 action will amplify its impact, ensure coherence, and harness synergies.”

They asked finance ministers and central bank governors to regularly coordinate to develop a G-20 action plan over COVID-19.

“We stand ready to react promptly and take any further action that may be required. We express our readiness to convene again as the situation requires,” the document read. “Global action, solidarity and international cooperation are more than ever necessary to address this pandemic.”