G20 Leaders are Discussing Energy Prices and other Economic Issues Today
G20 leaders gathering in Rome for their first meeting since the start of the pandemic face a global recovery hampered by a number of obstacles: an energy crisis driving higher fuel and utility prices, new outbreaks of Covid-19 and blocked supply chains.
The summit today and tomorrow will allow leaders representing 80 percent of the world's economy to speak out and put pressure on all these issues, the Associated Press reported. However, analysts question the progress that can be made to ease the burden on people who are subject to rising prices for everything from food and furniture to higher heating bills at the start of the winter season.
The forum offers an opportunity for dialogue on high oil and gas prices, as it includes delegations from major energy producers such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, major consumers in Europe and China, and both of which is the United States.
However, among the presidents and prime ministers of the 20 leading economies, the leaders of key economic players China and Russia will not be present in person. Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin plan to participate remotely. This probably does not bode well for cooperation, especially on energy issues, at a time when climate change is in the spotlight just ahead of tomorrow's UN COP26 Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, the AP notes.
At the meeting, US President Joe Biden is expected to insist on sharing more information on supply chain issues that have slowed growth in the developed world. The closure of ports and factories, the shortage of sea containers and the growing demand have led to delays in the supply of all kinds of goods - from bicycles to computer chips used in smartphones and cars.
In the long run, leaders can discuss efforts to diversify supplies of key commodities such as masks, other medical supplies and semiconductors.
The G20 is likely to welcome the agreement reached on a global minimum corporate tax, aimed at preventing multinational companies from evading profits in countries with lower or no taxes.
All governments in the group have signed the agreement, agreed between more than 130 countries, and now face an ambitious deadline for it to be approved and enter into force by 2023.
Reports of vaccine cooperation are not expected from the Rome meeting, despite the IMF's position that the main priority for economic recovery is clear: accelerating vaccination of the world's population.
The G20 includes Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Canada, China, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Turkey, France, South Korea, the Republic of South Africa, Japan and the European Union.
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