G20 leaders to meet online amid COVID-19 fallout

BY GNA - Nov 22, 2020 at 1:36am 100

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Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies (G20) will meet online on Saturday for an annual summit that is expected to focus on tackling economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

The two-day summit is hosted by Saudi Arabia, the current president of the bloc. Travel restrictions and health precautions due to the pandemic mean that Riyadh missed out on hosting the first in-person G20 summit in the Arab world.

“The upcoming G20 Leaders' Summit will seek to strengthen international cooperation to support the global economic recovery and lay solid foundations for strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, building on the success of the extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit in March 2020,” Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Aljadaan said.

In March, the G20 leaders vowed to coordinate their response to the pandemic.

Since then, they have collectively injected 11 trillion dollars to mitigate the impact on the global economy.

The group has also launched a debt suspension initiative for the least developed countries that would allow the beneficiaries to defer 14 billion dollars in debt payments due this year.

The money will instead be used for financing those countries' health systems and social programmes.

This is Saudi Arabia’s first time managing the presidency of the group, which brings together 19 countries and the European Union.

The G20 encompasses two-thirds of the world's population, 85 per cent of global economic output and 75 per cent of world trade.