G20 nations must boost coordination, redouble efforts to support growth

Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:09am EDT
 
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By Jan Strupczewski and David Lawder

CHENGDU, China (Reuters) - The world's leading economies will step up efforts to lift global economic growth and share the benefits more broadly, top policymakers meeting in China said on Saturday, as they seek to counter growing dissatisfaction with globalization.

Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 are huddling in China's southwestern city of Chengdu to discuss how to confront global challenges exacerbated by Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

The specter of protectionism, highlighted by U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's "America First" rhetoric and talk of pulling out of trade agreements, also hangs over the meeting.

"The recovery continues but remains weaker than desirable. Meanwhile, the benefits of growth need to be shared more broadly within countries to promote inclusiveness," the G20 ministers said in a draft communique seen by Reuters.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Saturday it was important for G20 countries to boost shared growth using all policy tools, including monetary and fiscal policies as well as structural reforms, to boost efficiency.

"This is a time when it is important for all of us to redouble our efforts to use all of the policy tools that we have to boost shared growth," Lew told reporters.

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei called for more coordination to promote sustainable growth, as fiscal and monetary tools were becoming less effective at spurring economic activity.

"G20 countries should increase policy communication and coordination, form policy consensus and guide market expectations, making monetary policy more forward-looking and transparent and increase the effectiveness of fiscal policy," Lou said.   Continued...

 
Lou Jiwei, China's Minister of Finance speaks at the High-level Tax Symposium held in Chengdu in Southwestern China's Sichuan province, Saturday, July 23, 2016. REUTERS/Ng Han Guan