Finance ministers from the Group of 20 Nations gathered in India on Monday to discuss critical global economic challenges, with a focus on tackling climate change and addressing rising debt levels in low-income countries.
Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen underscored the collaborative efforts between their countries to advance the G20 agenda. Their meeting on the sidelines of the summit highlighted the significance of their countries’ relationship, particularly during a period of strained ties with China.
As the meetings commenced in Gandhinagar, a city in the western Indian state of Gujarat, Yellen emphasized the world’s expectations for the G20 to make progress on key challenges such as climate change and pandemics. She highlighted the importance of strengthening the global economy and supporting developing nations.
It is high time to address debt challenges
Sitharaman, who is hosting the summit this year, stressed that a priority for the G20 and India is reinforcing global development banks and finding consensus on the complex issues associated with mounting debts faced by low and middle-income countries. Yellen echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the need for greater ambition and specific reforms in relation to global development banks.
Both leaders emphasized the urgency of addressing debt challenges confronted by low- and middle-income countries, and the need to enhance the multilateral debt restructuring process.
Several countries, including Sri Lanka and Ghana, defaulted on their international debts in 2022, following Zambia’s default two years prior. More than half of all low-income countries currently face debt distress, which hampers their long-term prospects for development and functioning.
The meetings, attended by finance ministers and central bank governors, are set to conclude on Tuesday.
As the G20 ministers gather in India, the world looks to them for concerted efforts to address pressing global economic issues, including climate change, debt challenges, and supporting developing nations. The outcomes of these discussions will shape the path towards a more resilient and sustainable global economy.