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G20 Summit to be hosted by Saudi Arabia in a virtual format

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G20 Summit to be hosted by Saudi Arabia in a virtual format

g20 saudi arabia
Photo: Balotaby

The Saudi-hosted G20 summit will begin today in a largely virtual format.

Riyadh had planned to use this summit to showcase its ambitious modernisation plans under de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. However, the virtual format has dampened hopes for an international spectacle and will likely prevent one-on-one discussions between leaders, a key component of G20 meetings.

COVID-19 and the collective steps needed to revive the global economy are expected to dominate discussion. In particular, an issue of continued concern is the prevention of widespread credit defaults across developing nations. G20 ministers last week announced a general framework for restructuring debt in virus-effected countries that borrow heavily from Paris Club principles, but critics have criticised the move as “woefully inadequate.” Discussion will likely focus on strengthening this plan by unlocking additional cash from the International Monetary Fund.

The plan has received widespread support across G20 member states, most notably China, which was not previously part of the debt agreement. Analysts are hopeful that the inclusion of China—one of the world’s largest creditors to developing nations—will allow for quick implementation of global debt relief.

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