PM Lee to attend virtual G20 Summit; ‘collective efforts’ to overcome COVID-19 on the agenda

PM Lee to attend virtual G20 Summit; ‘collective efforts’ to overcome COVID-19 on the agenda

PM Lee's participation in extraordinary virtual G20 leaders' summit
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong participating in the Extraordinary Virtual G20 leaders' summit. (Photo: MCI) 

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will attend the virtual Group of Twenty (G20) Riyadh Summit this weekend, where leaders will discuss the “collective efforts” on how to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Friday (Nov 20).

The summit is scheduled to take place from 9pm on Saturday and from 8.30pm on Sunday, said the PMO in a press statement. 

Singapore, although not a G20 member, is an invited guest country of Saudi Arabia, which holds the G20’s presidency this year.

Six other guest countries have also been invited, including Spain, a permanent invitee, and Vietnam – the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The other four are Jordan, Switzerland, Rwanda (chair of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development) and the United Arab Emirates (chair of the Gulf Cooperation Council).

Other summit participants include the leaders of G20 countries, the United Nations secretary-general and heads of multilateral organisations.

Discussions at the summit will centre on the “collective efforts” to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, restore growth and jobs as well as build an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future, said the PMO.

Mr Lee will be accompanied by officials from the Finance and Foreign Affairs ministries.

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King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will chair the summit, which marks the last official event of Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency this year.

In a communique released last month, G20 financial leaders have vowed to "do whatever it takes" to support the global economy and financial stability. They also stressed the urgent need to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control.

Last week, the group announced that low-income countries hardest hit by the economic fallout of the pandemic could potentially get an extension on their debt payments beyond mid-2021, and in the most severe cases, a debt write-off.

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Source: CNA/ga