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New G20 chair Japan wants trade imbalances, aging population on 2019 agenda

Reuters  |  BUENOS AIRES 

(Reuters) - will put issues ranging from global trade imbalances to the impact of aging populations on the agenda when it chairs next year's meetings of leaders from the Group of 20 major economies, government officials said.

At the end of the summit in Buenos Aires, unveiled the "priority issues" to be taken up by his counterparts and central when takes over the chairmanship from

will host a financial leaders' meeting in in on June 8-9, followed by a leaders' summit in on June 28-29.

will assert that global current account imbalances should be fixed via multilateral policy coordination rather than bilateral trade deals, the officials said. They declined to be identified because they are not authorized to talk to the media.

Excessive imbalances should be adjusted by improving the ratio of investment and saving through macroeconomic policy and structural reform, they added.

Global imbalances had once been a key topic at meetings with a focus on each country's current account balance, or the overall flow of money including, but not confined to, trade.

This approach runs counter to Donald Trump's focus on narrowing the U.S. trade deficit using import tariffs and bilateral deals. His "America First" policies and the U.S.-trade war have overshadowed debates at recent G20 meetings.

Japan's plans underscore Tokyo's view that instead of focusing too much on bilateral trade imbalances, there should be more emphasis on overall capital flows and structural factors behind the U.S. deficit - such as a lack of domestic savings.

Saddled with its own aging population and the industrial world's heaviest public debt burden, Japan will also highlight the issue of aging and its impact on fiscal and monetary policies at next year's G20 meetings, the officials said.

has said an aging population could pose "serious challenges" for central banks, as it undercuts economies' growth potential and requires them to use more monetary firepower than before to boost growth.

Also on the agenda under Japan's G20 will be the need to ensure debt sustainability, given rising debt in low-income countries, and to promote high-quality infrastructure investment.

(Reporting by in and Maximilian Heath in Buenos Aires; editing by and Jonathan Oatis)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 02 2018. 09:39 IST