G-20 to Hold Virtual Summit on Virus’s Social, Economic Impact

This content was published on March 25, 2020 - 06:06

(Bloomberg) -- Group of 20 nations will hold a virtual summit to “advance a coordinated global response” to the coronavirus pandemic Thursday, as the disease continues its rapid spread across the world.

They will discuss the economic and social impact of the pandemic, including its effect on the global supply chain, Indonesia’s foreign ministry said Wednesday. The gathering will be chaired by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, who made a rare public appearance earlier this month telling citizens that his administration was doing everything it could to confront the outbreak.

G-20 members will be joined by leaders from invited countries; Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland; and representatives of international organizations including the United Nations, World Bank Group, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization, according to a Saudi foreign ministry statement.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo will join the summit and the country will call for global solidarity and a coordinated action plan ensuring access to health equipment and vaccines, the Indonesian foreign ministry said. It said the World Bank, IMF and other global institutions have agreed to financial assistance to reduce the global economic impact.

The summit comes after G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors held an emergency call Monday to discuss the economic fallout from the virus and plans for a joint response, with the world economy likely to be pushed into recession this year. They talked about a stimulus package in the Covid-19 framework, according to Indonesia’s statement.

The virus was first found in humans in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. There are now more than 420,000 cases and almost 19,000 people dead worldwide.

(Updates with Indonesia statement from second paragraph.)

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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