Pretoria News - - BUSINESS REPORT -

FINANCE min­is­ters and cen­tral bank gov­er­nors from the Group of 20 na­tions joined an emer­gency call yes­ter­day to dis­cuss the fall­out from the coron­avirus pan­demic on the global econ­omy and work to­ward a joint re­sponse. “We need to con­sol­i­date our ef­forts to support the con­tain­ment of the virus, the main­te­nance of med­i­cal sys­tems and the de­vel­op­ment of drugs and vac­cines,” Ja­panese Finance Min­is­ter Taro Aso told re­porters after the call. “Na­tions should carry out the am­ple eco­nomic fis­cal measures needed.” The im­pact of the out­break on sup­ply chains and con­sumer de­mand will likely push the global econ­omy into re­ces­sion this year. Gov­ern­ments across the world have taken ac­tion to slow the spread of the pan­demic, in­clud­ing strict na­tion­wide lock­downs. The G-20 will aim to fi­nalise its ac­tion plan at the next vir­tual meet­ing in the spring, South Africa Na­tional Trea­sury Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Dondo Mo­ga­jane­said after the call. Among the agenda items are get­ting mul­ti­lat­eral in­sti­tu­tions in­clud­ing the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund and World Bank to re­spond, he said. Mo­ga­jane also made a plea for greater support for low-in­come coun­tries, par­tic­u­larly in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa. “As the im­pact of this pan­demic hits – ob­vi­ously it is go­ing to hit – those coun­tries may not be ready,” he said. “It is im­por­tant that G-20 coun­tries stand ready to support,” Mo­ga­jane em­pha­sised. | Bloomberg

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