World Economy

G7 Says Global Growth Under Threat

G7 Says Global Growth Under ThreatG7 Says Global Growth Under Threat

G7 finance ministers on Saturday voiced concern about the sputtering global economy as they looked for a plan to stoke growth, while a currency policy clash overshadowed their meetings.

The club of rich nations also pledged to tackle tax avoidance in the wake of the Panama Papers investigation and beef up efforts to disrupt the murky world of terrorism financing, Yahoo reported.

Two days of talks at a hot spring resort in northern Japan focused on how to stoke global growth which they said was under threat from myriad challenges, including terrorism, refugee flows and the threat of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The ministers were unanimous in opposing the prospect of Brexit, saying it would inflict a shock on the global economy that would only worsen the outlook at a time of geopolitical instability.

Host Japan was keen to get its G7 counterparts on board with the view that fiscal stimulus is the best way to kick-start global growth, but Germany and Britain were cool on the idea.

On Saturday, the group suggested a go-your-own-way approach.

“(We) discussed how to employ a balanced policy mix–monetary, fiscal and structural–taking into account country-specific circumstances,” they said in concluding remarks.

Japan’s determination to tame the resurgent yen was another sensitive topic, after its repeated threats to intervene in forex markets put it on a collision course with its G7 counterparts.

In a statement which presented a clear rebuff to Japan, the group “underscored the importance of all countries refraining from competitive devaluation”.

The G7 finance chiefs also vowed to escalate efforts to disrupt the financing of global terrorist networks.

An action plan that their leaders are to sign at a summit in Japan next week set out measures to step up intelligence-sharing, freeze assets and tighten reporting rules on international transfers.

“Countering violent extremism and bringing perpetrators to justice remain top priorities for the whole international community,” said the group which takes in the US, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Britain.

As the vote on Britain’s future in the EU draws closer, Finance Minister George Osborne said his meetings with G7 counterparts underscored the gravity of the in-out decision.

If voters opt to quit the bloc in a June 23 referendum, Britain would find it extremely difficult to conclude trade deals with EU nations while also trying to reach new agreements with non-EU countries, he told the BBC.