Jakarta, 17 Feb (ONA) — Countries must avoid tensions and cooperate to support a recovery from the pandemic as it lingers in many parts of the world, Indonesian President Joko Widodo told a gathering of top financial leaders of the world’s largest economies today.
“The winter is coming,” Widodo said in welcoming finance ministers and heads of central banks of the Group of 20 industrial nations.
“The pandemic is far from over, and the global economy is struggling,” he said. “During this situation, no single country could recover alone. All countries are interconnected, no one is isolated.”
The G-20 financial gathering comes as many economies are treading a precarious path between raising costs of borrowing to cool inflation and helping to support recoveries from the pandemic.
Worries over potential conflict in Ukraine are an added unwelcome source of uncertainty, Widodo said, warning against antagonisms at this time.
Officials were attending the meetings both in person and online, given troubles with travel and quarantines due to outbreaks, mostly of the omicron variant of coronavirus, that are plaguing many countries.
Host Indonesia is among many countries in Southeast Asia that have endured severe waves of infections, though vaccinations have helped quell the worst of outbreaks.
The fourth most populous nation with 274 million people, it has reported nearly 5 million cases and 145,622 deaths. In the past month, 690,518 new cases have been reported.
Indonesia is the world’s 10th largest economy and is located in the fastest growing region, at least before the pandemic swept the world, disrupting business and travel while killing nearly 6 million people.
Surging prices for food and energy are among the challenges the financial leaders confront as they discuss how to best nurture a global economic recovery, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati told G-20 participants.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that world economic growth will slow to 4.4% in 2022 from 5.9% in 2021, following a 3.3% contraction in 2020.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is pulling back on massive support for markets and businesses, preparing to raise interest rates as soon as next month to cool inflation that jumped to 7.5% in January; the highest rate in 40 years.
Consumer prices rose to a record 5.1% in the 19 countries that use the euro last month and to a nearly 30-year high in the United Kingdom.