TOKYO: Finance ministers and central bank leaders of the Group of 20 economies have agreed to ensure fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said Friday.
“It’s necessary to ensure that (the vaccines) are distributed also to low-income countries,” Aso told reporters in Tokyo. “On that, we’ve reached an agreement.”
Aso spoke after a video conference of the G-20 officials that took place Friday night Japan time. The G-20 economies also include the United States, European nations and emerging economies such as China.
On Feb. 19, leaders of the Group of Seven major powers confirmed in an online summit their cooperation over the distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
The framework of international cooperation over the vaccines will be expanded further following the G-20 agreement.
In the video conference, Aso called for caution, warning that the world economy faces uncertainty because of the spread of coronavirus variants even though vaccinations are progressing in many countries.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who also attended the video conference, said there should be discussions on how to increase contributions to medium-to long-term growth from a financial system perspective, according to Aso.
The video conference was the first G-20 session involving finance ministers and central bank leaders since Italy assumed this year’s G-20 presidency.