THE G20 countries agreed on cooperation and continued the implementation of fiscal, monetary and financial sector policies to overcome the impact of the spread of COVID-19, while still taking into account the health and social conditions of the people.

These steps include protecting lives, protecting employment, helping people who are experiencing income declines, and increasing financial system resilience.

The agreement was presented at a virtual meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 countries, which was attended by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor Dody Budi Waluyo on July 18, 2020.

While Head of the Communication Department of Bank Indonesia Onny Widjanarko said the increased cooperation was carried out to strengthen the policy response to a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive global economic recovery.

As for the meeting, the IMF said that the COVID-19 pandemic was expected to be larger in scale and longer than expected. That causes the global economy will contract in 2020.

Meanwhile, improvement in economic indicators due to the reopening of economic activity and the amount of monetary and fiscal stimulus policy support in various countries remains relatively weak. With this development, the global economy is predicted to return to positive growth in 2021.

“Therefore, in the condition that a medical solution has not yet been found to deal with COVID-19, strengthening G20 cooperation is needed to prevent deeper negative impacts on the global economy,” he said through his official statement.

During the meeting, finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 countries agreed on the importance of expanding economic, education and employment access for women, youth, and Micro small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), utilizing technology in infrastructure development (infratech), and strengthening financial sector resilience.

“This is to realize a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive global economic recovery. The forum also agreed to continue granting debt relief services (Debt Service Suspension Initiative) to poor countries affected by COVID-19, as well as affirming a commitment to reach a global consensus regarding taxation in the digital economy era at the end of 2020,” Onny said.

On this occasion, Bank Indonesia also conveyed the importance of the role of the policy mix in overcoming the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as supporting policy communications to maintain the confidence of actors in the financial markets.

Furthermore, Bank Indonesia emphasized the important role of international financial institutions in supporting efforts to increase economic resilience and stability of the global financial system.

Onny added, Bank Indonesia together with the government and related institutions/agencies will continue to work to strengthen coordination and synergy in maintaining macroeconomic and financial system stability, and accelerating Indonesia’s economic recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. [ special]