G20 Finance Leaders Urge Care in Unwinding Pandemic Support | Business News

By EDNA TARIGAN, Associated Press

JAKARTA (AP) — Finance leaders of the world’s largest called Friday for a cautious and well coordinated approach to navigating recoveries from the pandemic.

Finance ministers and top central bankers of the Group of 20 industrial nations agreed on a need to minimize the impact of move by the US and other countries to combat by raising interest rates and unwinding other measures to buffer inflation from repeated waves of outbreaks, said Indonesian central bank Gov. Perry Warjiyo.

“We agreed that in order to support the global financial system we need a well coordinated and well considered normalization policy,” Warjiyo told reporters in an online news conference.

“This is important so that these policies have minimal impact on global financial markets and on developing countries.”

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Meetings like the one held Thursday and Friday in Jakarta lay the groundwork for a summit of G-20 leaders later in the year.

As of Friday evening, the leaders had not yet released their communique. But Indonesian officials indicated that much of what was discussed was carried over from last year’s talks: global tax policies, climate financing and funding for improved public health.

In opening the meetings, Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged that countries cooperate to support the global recovery and avoid tensions like those in Ukraine.

“The pandemic is far from over, and the global economy is struggling,” Widodo said.

Financial leaders are treading a precarious path between raising costs of borrowing to cool inflation and alleviating the damage from the pandemic.

The US Federal Reserve is pulling back on massive support for markets and businesses, preparing to raise interest rates as soon as next month to cool inflation that jumped to 7.5% in January — the highest rate in 40 years.

Consumer prices rose to a record 5.1% in the 19 countries that use the euro last month and to a nearly 30-year high in the United Kingdom.

Indonesia’s central bank has also moved to curb inflation. But some other outbreaks have yet to bounce back from the havoc caused by the pandemic.

Officials attended the G-20 meetings both in person and online, given troubles with travel and quarantines due to outbreaks mostly of the omicron variant of coronavirus, that are plagueing many countries.

Host Indonesia is among many countries in Southeast Asia that have endured severe waves of infections, though vaccinations have helped quell the worst of outbreaks.

The world’s 10th largest economy, it is located in the fastest growing region — at least before the pandemic swept the world, disrupting business and travel while killing nearly 6 million people.

AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach in Bangkok contributed to this report.

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