G20 finance chiefs discuss inflation, food and energy crisis
The food and energy crisis is at the core of ongoing discussions taking place within the third G20 finance ministers and central bank governor meeting currently taking place in Bali, Indonesia.
The G-20 meeting opened the discussion to a number of key issues, such as the regulation of cryptocurrency, the establishment of a World Bank fund for pandemic research, and plans to create a Resilience and Sustainability Trust through the International Monetary Fund, but mainly focused on the food and energy crisis, which Indonesia warned of a potential "catastrophe" if left untackled.
The talks also included a discussion on the war between Russia and Ukraine whose delegates were present during the Summit. Russian Deputy Finance Minister Timur Maksimov was in Bali for the meetings, while Finance Minister Anton Siluanov was participating virtually, a source familiar with the matter said.
Indonesia resisted pressures from the West to not include Russia, as the presence of both parties is regarded as crucial by the G20 host for fostering dialogue between the two parties.
At the start of the summit, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati called on all participants to work in a spirit of cooperation as "the world is watching for solutions," adding that “the cost of our failure is more than we can afford,” and that “the humanitarian consequences for the world and for many low-income countries would be catastrophic.”
Russia under fire from the West
During the talks, the West exerted considerable pressure on Russia, finding it difficult to establish common ground between both parties.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who was also present during the talks said that Russia was to blame for the spillovers of the war and that Russian finance officials who were taking part in the G20 meeting on Friday shared responsibility for the "horrific consequences" of the war.
|It is worth noting that the same US Treasury Secretary announced earlier that it is not legal for the US to seize Russian assets, warning the US against violating international law and the US Constitution by seizing the frozen assets of Russia’s central bank.
Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland likewise addressed Russian delegates that she held them personally responsible for “war crimes” committed during Russia’s war with Ukraine.
Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov walked out of the G20 talks after Russia got accused of triggering a global hunger crisis. Lavrov slammed the West's "frenzied" condemnation of the Ukraine war at the G20 conference on July 8, accusing Russia's adversaries of sabotaging a chance to address global economic challenges.
Read more: Russia's Lavrov dismisses West's criticism at G20
This time, both Ukrainian and Russian delegates remained present during the talks, but it is unclear if a similar walkout will take place at this meeting which is expected to last until July 16.
OECD: International tax reform
The leaders discussed the progress of the implementation of a new tax reform, which is expected to be passed in mid-2023. It will set a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% by 2024, a year later than originally planned.
Secretary-General Mathias Cormann said, “We have made good progress towards implementation of a new taxing right under Pillar One of our international tax agreement. These are complex and very technical negotiations in relation to some new concepts that fundamentally reform international tax arrangements, to make them fairer and work better in an increasingly digitalized, globalized world economy."
He added that "we will keep working as quickly as possible to get this work finalized, but we will also take as much time as necessary to get the rules right. These rules will shape our international tax arrangements for decades to come. It is important to get them right."