G20 finance leaders adopt roadmap on crypto assets

  • Finance ministers and central bank governors of G20 nations underlined the need for an action-oriented roadmap to achieve shared goals of macroeconomic and financial stability

Rhik Kundu
Updated13 Oct 2023
Chairman of the Fifteenth Finance Commission NK Singh addresses the first session of the fourth and final meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. (ANI Photo)
Chairman of the Fifteenth Finance Commission NK Singh addresses the first session of the fourth and final meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. (ANI Photo)(Ministry of Finance Twitter)

New Delhi: Finance ministers and central bank governors (FMCBG) from G20 nations on Friday adopted a roadmap for regulating crypto assets proposed by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at their meeting at Marrakesh in Morocco. 

The ministers and central bank governors also decided in their joint communique to take forward key proposals from the New Delhi Leaders Declaration.

The FSB and IMF roadmap focuses on regulations rather than an outright ban to prevent crypto assets from destabilising the world economy.

The FMCBG communique noted the need for transformative changes required in Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) operating models and financing capacities to address global challenges, as recommended by two part report by Independent Expert Group, led by economists NK Singh and Lawrence Summers.

The two part report by Singh-Summers-led expert group have suggested an increase in MDBs’ annual spending by $3 trillion by 2030, including $1.8 trillion for additional climate action, and $1.2 trillion for achieving other sustainable development goals (SDGs), while also providing multiple suggestions for reforms, speed of response and private capital mobilisation, and prospects for scaling up of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).

The communique also emphasised the importance of addressing debt vulnerabilities in low and middle-income countries in effective, comprehensive and systematic manner while maintaining its commitment to stand by the Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI, an initiative endorsed by the G20 last November to support low income countries with unsustainable debt.

However, the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors' joint communique did not mention the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Finance track issues discussed by G20 finance leaders included measures to strengthen MDBs, advancement of financial inclusion through DPIs (Digital Public Infrastructure), roadmap for crypto asset regulations, managing global debt vulnerabilities for low income countries, financing cities of tomorrow, advancing two pillar solutions on taxation for digital economy, and mobilising climate finance, Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said while addressing a press conference after the conclusion of the fourth FMCBG meeting.

"G20 members reiterated the need for well calibrated monetary, fiscal and financial, and structural policies to promote growth, reduce inequalities and maintain macro-economic financial stability," Sitharaman said.

This was the fourth and final G20 finance leaders meeting under the Indian presidency of G20, with the previous ones held at Washington, Bangalore and Gandhinagar.

Issues discussed and deliberated under the Indian presidency will be taken forward at the upcoming 2024 G20 meetings under Brazil's presidency.

Meanwhile, the communique said the detailed and action-oriented roadmap is essential to achieve common goals like macro-economic and financial stability and to ensure effective, flexible, and coordinated implementation of the comprehensive policy framework for crypto assets.

"We commit ourselves to taking forward the actions mandated by our Leaders in the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration on Finance Track issues," it said.

In September, at the leaders summit, the G20 group of countries had adopted the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, where consensus was achieved on all issues, including the divisive Russia-Ukraine issue, making it a historic win for India’s presidency.

Big takeaways from the declaration, which also had consensus from China and Russia, were launch of a global biofuels alliance, announcement of a mega India-Middle East-Europe shipping and railway connectivity corridor, and inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20.

Meanwhile, finance minister Sitharaman said sustained growth momentum in emerging markets could cushion extended high interest rate regime impacting investment flows.

However, the recent crisis in the Middle East has led to concerns about peace in the region, rising fuel prices, and fragmentation of supply chains, Sitharaman said.

She said the Middle-East Economic Corridor, which is for the long term project, is not impacted by the ongoing crisis in the region.

"While short term glitches can be concerning, we will keep engaging with all stakeholders, and keep our communications open," she added.

The two-day FMCBG meeting held between 12-13 October also saw the Indian finance minister holding bilateral meetings with her counterparts from Brazil, the UK, Indonesia, Switzerland and Germany at the sidelines of the event.

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