Date
19 January 2017
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a news conference after the closing of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou on Monday. Photo: Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a news conference after the closing of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou on Monday. Photo: Reuters

G20 vows to coordinate on economy, but few concrete steps

G20 nations broadly agreed at a summit in China to coordinate macroeconomic policies, but the group’s statement at the end of the meeting fell short on concrete steps to revive global growth.

In a communique issued after the summit, leaders of the world’s top economies warned that global growth was weaker than anticipated, and that downside risks were continuing, Reuters reports.

The leaders also acknowledged that monetary policy alone cannot create balanced growth.

New challenges including terrorism and immigration have complicated the global economic outlook, the leaders said, adding that all policy tools must be used to drive strong and sustainable growth.

However, the statement fell short on concrete proposals to meet the growing challenges to globalization and free trade, the report noted.

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged major economies to drive growth through innovation, not just fiscal and monetary measures.

“We will support multilateral trade mechanisms and oppose protectionism to reverse declines in global trade,” he said.

Among other things, the G20 called for the establishment of a global forum to take steps to address steel excess capacity and encourage adjustments in the sector.

China produces half the world’s annual output of 1.6 billion tons of steel and has struggled to decrease its estimated 300 million ton overcapacity.

One of the few areas where there was progress at the summit was in protecting the environment.

China and the US ratified the Paris agreement on cutting climate-warming emissions on the eve of the G20 summit, setting the stage for other countries to follow suit.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said after the summit that more inclusive growth is a priority in the global economy.

“We need increased growth, but it must be better balanced, more sustainable, and inclusive so as to benefit all people,” she said.

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