The Russia-Ukraine conflict, as well as soaring food and energy prices, dominated last week’s 3rd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, along with the South African Reserve Bank, participated in the Meeting held on Friday and Saturday.

The National Treasury in a statement said members in the meeting held polar views on these issues.

The G20 Presidency in Indonesia in a separate statement said many members agreed that the recovery of the global economy had slowed and was facing a major setback as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Members strongly condemned the war and called for the end of it.

It said: “One member expressed the view that the sanctions are adding to existing challenges. Members noted that existing challenges have been exacerbated, including supply-demand mismatches, supply disruptions, and increased commodity and energy prices, which have added to rising inflationary pressures and contributed to the increasing risk of food insecurity.

“Many members noted the importance of continued action on climate change, as well as on addressing debt vulnerabilities. Some members welcomed the G20 Presidency Note on Policy Setting for Exit Strategies to Support Recovery and Addressing Scarring Effect to Secure Future Growth, opted to publish a G20 Chair’s Summary of the meeting’s deliberation”.

The Treasury said Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors were in broad support of:

• Maintaining price stability;

• The importance of open, fair, rules-based trade, and fighting protectionism;

• Prioritizing collective and coordinated action to get the pandemic under control;

• The establishment of a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for pandemic Prevention, Preparedness – hosted by the World Bank;

• The swift implementation of the OECD/G20 two-pillar international tax package;

• Strengthening long-term financial resilience of the international financial architecture, including promoting sustainable capital flows, and developing local currency capital markets;

• The voluntary re-channeling of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) or equivalent contributions – and call for further pledges from all willing and able countries to meet the total global ambition of USD 100 billion;

• Efforts to implement the Common Framework for Debt Treatment beyond the DSSI in a timely, orderly and coordinated manner including the first meeting of the creditor committee for Zambia;

• Supporting orderly, just and affordable transitions to achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in line with the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, and

• Buttressing global policy actions to increase resilience against cross-border spillovers, including by addressing structural vulnerabilities in non-bank financial intermediation (NBFI).

The Department said the Minister leveraged the meetings by holding productive bilateral meetings with African Union representative, Finance Minister Amadou Hott; Canada Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland; the United States Secretary of Treasury, Janet Yellen; and Turkey Finance Minister, Nureddin Nebati.

“The Minister used the meetings to broach areas of mutual interest, such as the international tax system, the country’s energy transition and climate change, and the international community’s support for sustainable debt resolution in developing countries,” said the Department.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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