Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the G20 meet in Fukuoka to assess the state of the global economy for a report to the forum’s leaders later in June in Osaka. G20 hosting gives Japan an opportunity to advertise its own economic prowess and to promote its own priorities.
They will be looking for changes since their Jul 2018 meeting, when they reported that global economic growth remained robust and unemployment was at a decade low. The otherwise sunny outlook was tempered with a warning that “downside risks” had increased. The risks included financial vulnerabilities, heightened trade and geopolitical tensions, global imbalances, inequality and structurally weak growth, particularly in some advanced economies.
Japan’s publicity for the event outlines its formula for prosperity: “The G20 Summit is a perfect opportunity for people from all over the world to see and experience not only a newly revitalized and transformed Japan – thanks to booming corporate profits and a wave of inbound investment as a result of bold regulatory reforms and other stimulus measures.”
The growing trade war between China and the United States has to feature high on G20 concerns. Citing Japanese news sources, Reuters reported in May that Japan plans to stand clear of their dispute and won’t mention protectionism in the forum communiqué.
Reuters reports that Japan wants issues on the agenda that range from global trade imbalances to the impact of ageing populations. It will also advocate the need to ensure debt sustainability, given rising debt in low-income countries, and high-quality infrastructure investment.
The G20 is made up of 19 countries plus the European Union. The 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Date written/update: 2019-04-01