UAE highlights efforts at G20 meet to lessen COVID-19 impact - GulfToday

UAE highlights efforts at G20 meet to lessen COVID-19 impact


Obaid Humaid Al Tayer during the virtual meeting of G20 ministers of finance and central bank governors in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, participated on Monday in a virtual meeting with G20 ministers of finance and central bank governors, to discuss ways to unite international efforts to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and lessen its economic and social impact on the region and the world.

Obaid Humaid Al Tayer reiterated the importance of these meetings, especially in the face of the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, which call for extraordinary measures. He also highlighted that the UAE Government has taken all necessary measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, support companies and individuals, support financial stability, in addition to all the necessary preventive measures in the interest of public health.

He said: “This meeting allows ministers of finance and central bank governors to discuss ways to coordinate their response to this global pandemic and explore ways to coordinate efforts to counter its spread, and ensure continued growth, sustainable economic development, and financial stability.”

They addressed the solutions and discussed policies to protect societies and the global economy based on the efforts made by various government entities from participating countries, as well as the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and community. Furthermore, the precautionary fiscal policies of the UAE to counter the epidemic and support individuals and businesses within the country were presented.

The virtual G20 meeting was initiated by Saudi Arabia - the host of the next G20 summit.

The UAE Cabinet has approved an Dhs16 billion economic stimulus package as part of the Federal Government’s additional measures to support the national economy, ensure businesses continuity, and mitigate the coronavirus impact.

This came during a virtual meeting held on Sunday under the chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as a preventive measure to protect everyone from the Covid-19 coronavirus

The latest financial support complements those announced recently by the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, along with that of the Central Bank of the UAE, taking to Dhs126.5 billion the total value of stimulus packages introduced since the COVID-19 outbreak to survive the current challenging conditions.

The measures include a renewable six-month suspension of work permit fees and reduction of labour and other charges to cut the cost of doing business, support small businesses and accelerate major infrastructure projects.

Earlier, finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s 20 largest economies (G20) agreed on a video call on Monday to coordinate their actions to the worsening coronavirus pandemic as needed, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News.

Mnuchin said the United States was working closely with G20 countries, the Group of Seven (G7), the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in responding to the crisis. G20 leaders are due to meet for a virtual summit later this week.

“The good news is there’s a lot of understanding (in) the G20 with both central bankers and finance ministers that we are all prepared to take actions to support our economies and coordinate it on a global basis as needed,” Mnuchin said.

“This is a team effort to kill this virus and provide economic relief.”

G20 finance officials met by video call for nearly two hours as more countries imposed lockdown measures to contain the rapidly spreading virus, which has infected 337,500 people across the world and killed over 14,600.

The G20 finance officials did not issue a joint statement after the call, despite mounting pressure on the G20 nations to play a more decisive role in responding to a pandemic that has jolted markets and stoked fears of a global recession.

The summit, called by this year’s chair, Saudi Arabia. The G20 secretariat in Riyadh, in a post on Twitter, said only that finance officials were meeting “on actions required to address COVID-19, in preparation for the extraordinary #G20VirtualSummit.”

One G20 source said financial and economic issues are likely to play a significant role in a statement expected to be released by G20 leaders after their virtual summit this week, but no details were immediately available.

After Monday’s call, Japanese officials urged G20 finance leaders to take timely policy steps to tackle global economic risks posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

Japan’s finance minister Taro Aso said he informed the G20 he was “deeply concerned” about the damage the coronavirus outbreak was inflicting on markets and the global economy.”

He called for each G20 country to “implement necessary and sufficient economic and fiscal measures” and said the G20 should act “without hesitation in a timely manner,” he added.


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