G20 finance leaders eye regional ‘conflicts’ in draft communique


Brazil’s coordinator of the finance track at G20, Tatiana Rosito, said on Tuesday that the group is moving towards a short communique that reflects Brazilian priorities. …reports Asian Lite News

Group of 20 finance leaders are expected to make a passing reference to regional conflicts in assessing global economic risks, according to a draft version of the communique seen by Reuters, due to deep divisions over wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

The draft communique, far shorter than previous years as host nation Brazil works to sidestep geopolitical controversies, also said the likelihood of a soft landing in the global economy has increased, but uncertainty remains high. 

“Risks to the global economic outlook are more balanced,” with faster-than-expected disinflation and more growth-friendly fiscal consolidation underpinning growth, the draft said. 

After a gathering of foreign ministers in Rio de Janeiro last week focused on deep divisions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, G20 finance officials are expected to set aside geopolitics and focus on global economic issues as they gather in Sao Paulo this week. 

The draft communique that deputy finance ministers have been revising reflects a delicate effort to acknowledge regional conflicts while maintaining consensus, which Brazil has emphasized during its presidency of the G20 major economies. 

“Among the downside risks to the global economy are [wars and] escalating conflicts, geoeconomic fragmentation, rising protectionism and trade routes disruptions,” the draft communique said. 

The reference to “wars” in brackets reflects efforts to reach a consensus on the final language, said a person familiar with the matter. 

Brazil’s coordinator of the finance track at G20, Tatiana Rosito, said on Tuesday that the group is moving towards a short communique that reflects Brazilian priorities. 

Rosito, the International Affairs secretary at the Finance Ministry, also told a briefing there was no concrete proposal on the table for debt negotiation, adding that the idea is to create “a new momentum” to advance the issue, including the discussion of preventive mechanisms. 

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is also pushing to give developing nations of the Global South more voice in G20 meetings during Brazil’s presidency, reflected in the draft communique’s focus on addressing hunger, poverty and inequality. 

Finance officials and central bankers from the G20 are meeting to review global economic developments at a time of slowing growth, the increasing strains of record debt burdens, and worries that inflation may not yet be tamed. 

In the draft communique, the G20 finance leaders gave an optimistic view on the outlook for price pressures. Inflation has receded in most economies, they said, thanks in part to “appropriate” monetary policies, easing supply chain bottlenecks and moderating commodity prices. 

The priority for central banks is still to ensure that inflation converges to target “in line with their respective mandates,” the draft communique said.

The draft also said the G20 group reaffirms their existing exchange-rate commitment, which warns against excess volatility and volatile currency moves as undesirable for economic growth.

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