Finance chiefs of the Group of 20 major economies will discuss ways to promote free trade as a driver for global growth, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Thursday ahead of the start of a two-day meeting in Washington.
Citing the U.S.-China tariff war and a potentially disorderly exit of Britain from the European Union, Kuroda told reporters that uncertainties persist in an otherwise stable world economy.
Kuroda expressed hope that ongoing U.S.-China negotiations will lead to a trade agreement that will end the dispute, which has involved tit-for-tat tariffs on each other’s imports.
“Such protectionist moves would not be a plus for each other,” he said.
The BOJ chief said free trade under World Trade Organization rules has made significant contributions to world economic growth.
“All G-20 members, including both countries, need to make efforts to that end,” he said, in reference to the United States and China.
Despite the slowdown led by the Chinese and European economies, the global economy is expected to pick up from the second half of this year before logging higher growth next year, according to Kuroda.
In its latest outlook released Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund forecast the world economy will grow 3.3 percent in 2019, down 0.2 percentage point from its estimate in January. The projected growth rate for 2020 was unchanged at 3.6 percent.
The G-20 groups Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United States and the European Union.