IMF chief urges G20 leaders to jointly rebuild global economy

WASHINGTON: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has urged the Group of 20 (G20) leaders to maintain policy support and reinforce the economic bridge to recovery as the global economy is “not out of the woods.”

“I commended the G20 countries as a whole for taking unprecedented actions to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 — including fiscal and monetary measures — that have helped to prevent massive bankruptcies and an even deeper crisis,” Georgieva said in a statement following a virtual meeting of G20 Leaders’ Summit hosted by Saudi Arabia.

“I also emphasized that the world is not out of the woods yet in terms of this crisis. Cooperation is going to be even more important going forward,” Georgieva said, urging G20 leaders to maintain macroeconomic policy support to businesses and workers “until we exit the health crisis.”

“There must be no premature withdrawal. It is also time now to prepare for a synchronized green and digital infrastructure investment push to invigorate growth, to limit scarring, and address climate goals,” she said.

With vaccines on the horizon, Georgieva noted that “we must ensure they reach everyone, everywhere,” which could add almost 9 trillion U.S. dollars to global income by 2025, according to the IMF’s estimate. The IMF chief also said the most consequential uncertainty facing us today is “how we can use the momentum of disruption caused by this crisis to build a better economy for all.”

Georgieva called on G20 leaders to revitalize the international trading system, foster an international system of taxation where everyone pays their fair share, and accelerate the transition to the new climate economy. “The IMF will continue to count on the G20’s support to have all the necessary resources to best serve our member countries, and especially those who need our assistance the most,” she said.

In its World Economic Outlook report released last month, the IMF revised up the 2020 forecast for the global economy to a contraction of 4.4 percent. Despite the upward revision, the IMF said the ascent out of this crisis is likely to be “long, uneven and highly uncertain.”

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