Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies pledged on Thursday to inject $5 trillion in fiscal spending into the global economy to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus and “do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic.”
Showing more unity than at any time since the 2008-2009 financial crisis that led to the G20’s creation, the leaders said they committed during a videoconference summit to implement and fund all necessary health measures needed to stop the virus’ spread.
In a statement containing the most conciliatory language on trade in years, the G20 leaders pledged to ensure the flow of vital medical supplies and other goods across borders and to resolve supply chain disruptions.
As many countries enact export bans on medical supplies, the G20 leaders said they would coordinate responses to avoid unnecessary interference.
“Emergency measures aimed at protecting health will be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary,” they said.
“We are strongly committed to presenting a united front against this common threat,” the G20 leaders said in a joint statement following their 90-minute call.
Saudi Arabia, the current G20 chair, called the video summit amid earlier criticism of the group’s slow response to the disease. It has infected more than 470,000 people worldwide, killed more than 21,000, and is expected to trigger a global recession.
Saudi King Salman, in opening remarks, said the G20 should resume the normal flow of goods and services, including vital medical supplies, as soon as possible to help restore confidence in the global economy.
The group committed to national spending measures totaling $5 trillion — an amount equal to that pledged in 2009 — along with other large-scale liquidity, credit guarantee schemes and other economic measures.