15 April 2020
ICC – the institutional representative of 45 million member companies – has welcomed a pledge from G20 Finance Ministers to suspend debt service payments for the poorest countries that request forbearance.
In a communiqué issued earlier today, the world’s 20 largest economies agreed on a coordinated approach to provide immediate debt relief in the context of the COVID-19 crisis – with all bilateral official creditors participating in the initiative.
Commenting on the announcement, ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said:
“We commend G20 Finance Ministers for this robust display of coordination. This is a very welcome first step to ensure countries have the fiscal space to combat COVID-19. No government should be placed in a situation where it has to choose between servicing sovereign debt and protecting the lives and livelihoods of its citizens.”
Mr Denton also highlighted the need for further coordinated interventions from G20 finance in tackling the impacts of the crisis and enabling a sustainable mid-term recovery:
“Today’s communique is a positive step towards ensuring an effective financial response to the coronavirus pandemic, but further coordinated action will undoubtedly be needed to deal with the economic fall-out from COVID-19. We also need to see clear leadership from the G20 in charting a comprehensive global recovery plan that ensures strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. This will need to squarely address longstanding global challenges – from inequality to climate change – if we are to deliver on the promise of political leaders to build back better from the crisis.”