G-20 has key leadership role in tackling issues like pandemic response, climate change: Lawrence Wong

DPM Lawrence Wong meeting with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Bali. PHOTO: MOF

SINGAPORE - The Group of 20 (G-20) can play a key leadership role not only in tackling immediate challenges like food insecurity, but also on longer-term issues like pandemic response and climate change, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong.

Speaking on Friday (July 15) at the third G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Bali, he also touched on the global economy and the international financial architecture.

Mr Wong said all countries are now facing a complex environment.

Amid the uncertain global economic outlook, the role of multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank is now more important than ever, he said.

At the meetings, which run from Thursday to Saturday, Mr Wong spoke about Singapore's US$10 million (S$14 million) contribution to the financial intermediary fund for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

He said Singapore is looking forward to working together with others on strengthening disease surveillance and addressing vaccine inequity, among other things.

He also held meetings with leaders from around the world, including South African Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, with whom he discussed economic strategies and opportunities for mutual collaboration.

Mr Wong also met United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Financial Affairs Mohamed Hadi Al Hussaini, and the two leaders discussed Singapore's and UAE's transitions to a greener future.

They also spoke about the need to respond to climate change while managing the immediate challenges of higher food and energy prices.

In a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Mr Wong discussed issues like the energy security outlook as well as international collaboration on pandemic preparedness and response.

Mr Wong also met South Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Choo Kyung-ho, and congratulated him on his recent appointment.

In a Twitter post, Mr Wong said: "We reaffirmed our shared perspectives on the importance of an open and stable region - and also reminisced about our younger days as economic policymakers."

Singapore is not a member of the G-20, which brings together the world's largest economies.

However, the Republic has been invited to take part in many past G-20 summits and related meetings as the convenor of the Global Governance Group, which is an informal grouping of 30 small and medium-sized members of the United Nations.

Established by Singapore in 2009, the 3G aims to promote greater dialogue between the G-20 and the broader UN membership.

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