G20 finance ministers agree to coordinate fiscal, monetary policies to ensure global economic stability amid crises
SINGAPORE: G20 finance ministers have agreed on the need to coordinate fiscal and monetary policies to “ensure global economic stability” as countries head into a “perfect storm of multiple crises”, said Singapore Finance Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday (Apr 21).
Mr Wong attended the G20 2nd Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and World Bank-IMF Spring meetings in the United States on Wednesday.
“We are meeting under extraordinary circumstances,” he said in a video published on his social media pages. “In many ways, we are heading into a perfect storm of multiple crises.
“And that is why the finance ministers discussed and agreed that we do need to coordinate our policies, be it fiscal or monetary policies, to ensure global economic stability during this period.”
Countries must also take into consideration other “burning longer-term issues” while dealing with the immediate crisis, he added. This includes strengthening the global public health system and tackling climate change.
“We had good discussions among ourselves about how we can advance these important agendas,” Mr Wong said.
“In these uncertain times, we cannot afford to take a country-by-country approach. We need much stronger multilateral cooperation, to recover together and to recover stronger.”
Mr Wong also met international leaders and officials at the meetings, including Indonesia's finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Malaysia's finance minister Zafrul Abdul Aziz and secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Mathias Cormann.
Mr Wong is in the United States to attend the G20 and World Bank-IMF meetings, as well as to meet members of the US administration.
This is his first overseas trip since he was announced as leader of the fourth generation of Singapore’s political leadership.
He was also invited to speak at the Peterson Institute for International Economics’ Macro Week, which was a series of discussions among prominent finance ministers and central bankers from around the world.
On Thursday, Mr Wong will attend the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Ministerial Meeting. Singapore will assume the FATF presidency from Jul 1.