April 30, 2020 / 1:20 PM / in a month

G7 ministers discuss strategies to accelerate economies once they reopen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Finance ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) countries on Thursday discussed strategies to accelerate economic activity once they reopened after sweeping lockdowns aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Treasury said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his counterparts from the other G7 countries also discussed the importance of foreign direct investment and use of investment screening mechanisms to identify national security risks, a department spokesperson said.

Mnuchin spoke with top finance officials of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, the European Union and the Eurogroup by telephone early Thursday to continue coordinating “timely and effective actions” in response to the economic fallout of the pandemic, the spokesperson said in a statement.

No further details were immediately available. Washington currently leads the G7 group.

Even before the pandemic, the United States and Europe had tightened regulations on oversight of foreign direct investment, alarmed by aggressive moves by China and Chinese entities to buy potentially strategic assets.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said the G7 officials agreed on the need for policy coordination to achieve a global recovery, but gave no details.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Susan Heavey; Editing by Gareth Jones and David Gregorio

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