June 8, 2019 / 9:06 AM / 9 days ago

G20 to say trade tensions a key risk to growth, split on urgency of finding solution

FUKUOKA, Japan (Reuters) - Global trade tensions threaten an expected pick up in economic growth this year and in 2020, a draft communique by the world’s financial leaders showed on Saturday, but the policymakers are divided on whether the need to resolve them was “pressing”.

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the world’s 20 biggest economies, the G20, are meeting in the Japanese city of Fukuoka to discuss the global economy amid rising trade tensions between China and the United States.

“Global growth appears to be stabilizing and is generally projected to pick up moderately later this year and into 2020,” the draft G20 communique, which may yet change before it is released on Sunday, said.

“However ... risks remain tilted to the downside. These include, in particular, intensified trade and goepolitical tensions,” G20 leaders said in the draft communique, seen by Reuters.

The draft statement, to which all the G20 financial leaders have to agree, contains a sentence in square brackets — which means it was not yet agreed — that trade and investment were important engines of growth.

“We reaffirm our leaders’ conclusions on trade from the Buenos Aires Summit and recognize the pressing need to resolve trade tensions,” the sentence still under discussion said.

Reporting By Francesco Canepa, writing by Jan Strupczewski

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