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[Speech] Opening Remarks at the G20 Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting


Haruhiko Kuroda
Governor of the Bank of Japan
January 17, 2019

Good afternoon. It is a great honor for me to work with you and to serve as co-chair with Minister Aso at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meetings this year.

The G20 was established in 1999, twenty years ago. It was the year when the euro was introduced and two years after the Asian Financial Crisis. I attended the inaugural meeting in Berlin as Vice-Minister of Finance for International Affairs. The main objective of the G20 was to promote cooperation among systemically significant economies including emerging market economies, in order to achieve stable and sustainable global growth. Later, the leaders' summit was initiated in response to the global financial crisis in 2008, and the G20 played a significant role in coordinating policy responses to the crisis. Since then, as the world economy has recovered from the crisis, the G20 has discussed a wide range of issues to promote strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth.

While the role and agenda of the G20 have evolved over time, I would like to point out three important values that have been emphasized consistently, based on my long-time involvement in the G20 since its inauguration.

First, we recognize that the expansion of cross-border transactions of goods, services, and finance will benefit all countries. We need to conduct policies so that many people can enjoy the positive effects of international trade and capital flows on growth and productivity gains, while minimizing their potential negative impacts.

Second, we need to be forward-looking in preparing for policy responses to medium- to long-term challenges. For instance, under Japan's presidency this year, we will discuss policy responses to aging. Japan is currently the most aged society in the world. Sooner or later, however, other economies will face a similar situation. Many issues must be considered in our efforts to cope with an aging society, including fiscal, monetary, and structural policies. I believe the G20 provides a valuable forum for discussion and mutual understanding of these issues.

Third, we value the importance of inclusive growth, that is, the dividends of economic growth should be distributed fairly and equally across the whole society. The G20 has discussed policy agendas to enhance the overall living standards of low-income countries in a sustainable manner. In addition, we need to address the increasing inequality in advanced economies as well, taking account of the recent developments.

I hope you will have fruitful discussions at this two-day meeting and subsequent meetings of the G20, leading up to the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Fukuoka in June. I look forward to meeting you all again later this year.

Thank you for your attention.