Top business leaders said on Monday the global economy was facing its worst crisis in a hundred years due to the ongoing coronavirus, and “downside risks remained elevated” unless urgent reforms were enacted during the G-20 summit which will be hosted by Saudi Arabia in November.
“The global economy is in its worst state in a century,” warned Yousef Al-Benyan, chairman of the Business Twenty (B20), a group made up of high-level CEOs from around the world, according to CNBC. “The challenging opportunity is to build back better, with real urgency required from policymakers and business leaders,” he added.
The B20 is an engagement group that seeks to represent the voice of the global business community across all member states and economic sectors in the Group of 20.
The group is urging G-20 leaders to undertake “bold and broad based” policy action to put the post-pandemic economic recovery on a stronger, more stable growth path. It said trade tensions, policy uncertainty, geopolitical strains and building financial vulnerabilities were key risks to the outlook, as societies and economies navigate the crippling impact of the coronavirus.
The G-20 Leaders’ Summit will be held virtually during November 21-22 and chaired by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The summit will focus on protecting lives and restoring growth by tackling vulnerabilities uncovered by the pandemic.
This will be the second virtual G-20 Leaders’ Summit since March, when Saudi Arabia, the current chair of the grouping, had convened a meeting following a suggestion from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss ways to counter the pandemic and its economic impact. India is set to take over as the G-20 chair in 2022.
The upcoming summit will also build on the outcomes of more than 100 virtual working group and ministerial meetings, said a statement from the G-20 secretariat. The G20 has contributed more than $21 billion to support the production, distribution and access to diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, and injected $11 trillion to safeguard the global economy as part of the fight against the pandemic.