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G20 Finance Track official meetings kick off this week

The series of events dedicated to international finance issues begins

December 16th, 2020

G20 Finance Track official meetings kick off this week

A few day after the official handover from Saudi Arabia to Italy, the Italian G20 Presidency begins its path towards the G20 Leaders Summit, which will be held on 30-31 October 2021 in Rome. This week’s agenda features the first two official working groups of the Finance Track.

The Finance Track is structured into various working groups, dedicated to sustainable and inclusive growth, international financial architecture, infrastructure and financial inclusion.

Due to the current global pandemic-induced preventive measures, the first Italian Presidency’s events will take place in virtual mode, as for almost the whole G20 Saudi Presidency in 2020. The first two meetings in the books for this week follow a first seminar on development finance which took place on December 3rd.

On Monday 14 December, the Infrastructure Working Group opened the scene with a technical meeting to present the G20 Italian Presidency’s priority. The Group, created in 2014 and originally named Infrastructure Investment Working Group, was suspended in 2017 to be relaunched in 2018 with the current wording by the Argentinian Presidency. Within this group, G20 members gather to discuss measures to improve preparation, financing and management of quality infrastructure investments to ensure inclusive, sustainable and resilient infrastructure services to all.

The Covid-19 crisis has shown the relevance of reliable and high-quality infrastructures in healthcare, telecommunications, digital connectivity and logistics as a baseline for the economic recovery. These sectors require targeted investments aimed at maintaining and creating resilient infrastructures, capable to respond to unexpected external shocks. In order to foster an inclusive recovery it is also necessary to create innovative infrastructure networks as a way to foster social inclusion, reduce geographical disparities, improve environmental sustainability and mitigate climate change related risks.

This week also marks the start of the International Financial Architecture (IFA) Working Group, with a first meeting on Thursday 17 December. The IFA Working Group works to enhance stability and cohesion of the international financial system. It addresses the challenges related to debt sustainability and transparency and works to strengthen the global financial safety nets. It also assesses the volatile capital flows and associated risks and discusses financing for development mechanisms in low-income countries, while coordinating between international financial institutions.

Building on the results achieved during the Saudi Presidency, in 2021 the IFA WG will focus on finding solutions to protect the most fragile economies, which are paying the higher costs of the crisis. After the crucial decision to extend debt relief measures for low-income countries until June 2021, it is now the time to assess which measures can foster a sustainable, long-lasting and inclusive economic recovery. To that end, the group will take into consideration various development financing instruments, including Country Platforms.

The IFA WG will also evaluate the impact of digitalisation on the financial and monetary system as well as the consequences of the shrinking of capital flow induced by the Covid-19 crisis.

These are just some of the issues that will be on the Finance Track working groups’ agenda for 2021. The work carried out by the thematic groups will converge into the Finance Minister and Central Governor official meetings, with the first session scheduled for 26-27 February.

The next Finance Track meeting will involve the Framework Working Group and will take place on Tuesday 12 January 2021.