The Jakarta Post
G20 leaders are following their own governments’ advice to avoid travel, holding a video-conference summit on Thursday to discuss international efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo will be joining the meeting from Jakarta, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
The meeting is set to discuss measures to stave off a global economic recession and will include representatives of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in addition to the World Health Organization.
“[The meeting] will discuss not only the handling of the pandemic but also its economic and social impacts on the global supply chain,” the statement said.
G20 chairman and Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz will lead the conference.
Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country and the 15th-largest economy in the G20, came into the global campaign rather late as it did not announce any confirmed COVID-19 cases until March 2.
It now has the second-highest death rate after Italy, with 686 confirmed cases and 55 deaths as of Tuesday. Indonesia is also one of the few countries to have rejected locking down the country to stop the spread of the disease, fearing that the impact on the economic lives of its 270 million people would be even more severe.
Jokowi will push for globally coordinated action to ensure countries have access to the necessary health equipment and future vaccines, the statement said, adding that Indonesia also sought to discuss efforts to sustain international trade in goods and services.
According to IMF predictions, the economic impact of COVID-19 will be comparable to the 2008 global financial crisis that originated from the subprime mortgage debacle in the United States, the statement said.
G20 finance ministers and central bank governors spoke on Monday through a conference call to discuss coordinated actions to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19
“The World Bank and IMF have agreed to provide financial assistance to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy,” the foreign ministry statement said, noting that the World Bank was allocating US$14 billion and the IMF $1 trillion for lending. (mfp)