As the world is battling with coronavirus pandemic, G20 leaders agreed to keep their markets open and ensure the continued flow of vital medical supplies, equipment and other essential items. The trade ministers reportedly vowed to work to prevent profiteering and unjustified price increases and keep supplies flowing on an affordable and suitable basis. They also agreed to notify the World Trade Organisation (WTO) about any trade-related measures taken to keep global supply chains running.
In a joint statement, the G20 ministers pledged to take ‘immediate necessary measures’ to facilitate trade, incentivise additional production of equipment and drugs, and minimise supply chain disruptions. Furthermore, the ministers agreed that the emergency measures should be ‘targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary’, while also sticking to WTO’s rules. The aim is to not create ‘unnecessary barriers’ to trade.
According to the official site, the statement read, "As we fight the pandemic both individually and collectively and seek to mitigate its impacts on international trade and investment, we will continue to work together to deliver a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open”.
It further read, “We will ensure smooth and continued operation of the logistics networks that serve as the backbone of global supply chains. We will explore ways for logistics networks via air, sea and land freight to remain open, as well as ways to facilitate essential movement of health personnel and businesspeople across borders, without undermining the efforts to prevent the spread of the virus”.
Last week, the G20 countries also injected $5 trillion into the global economy to deal with the economic, social and financial impact of COVID-19 pandemic. The IMF and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also participated in the summit titled 'G20 Extraordinary Virtual Leaders' Summit on COVID-19’. The official statement apprised about the injection of over $5 trillion into the global economy, as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic.
The statement also supported the extraordinary measures taken by the central banks and the regulatory and supervisory measures taken to ensure that the financial system continues to support the economy. Furthermore, it welcomed the steps taken by the IMF and the WBG to support countries in need of using all instruments to the fullest extent as part of a coordinated global response.