IMF's Lagarde urges G-20 to prioritise resolving trade tensions

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde speaking at a G-20 seminar on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting, in Fukuoka, Japan, on June 8, 2019.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde speaking at a G-20 seminar on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting, in Fukuoka, Japan, on June 8, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

FUKUOKA, JAPAN (REUTERS) - International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde on Sunday (June 9) called on the Group of 20 major economies to prioritise resolving trade tensions to mitigate risks to global growth.

"We met at a time when the global economy is showing tentative signs of stabilising and growth is projected to strengthen. While this is good news, the road ahead remains precarious and subject to several downside risks," Ms Lagarde said in a statement after a meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors.

"To mitigate these risks, I emphasised that the first priority should be to resolve the current trade tensions, including eliminating existing tariffs and avoiding new ones," she said, adding that work is also needed to modernise the international trade system.

"This would be the best way for policymakers to give more certainty and confidence to their economies and to help, not hinder, global growth," said Ms Lagarde, who took part in the G-20 finance leaders' gathering in Fukuoka, southern Japan.