Finance leaders from the Group of 20 (G20) ended a two-day meeting where they alluded to the fact that the trade and geopolitical tensions have intensified in recent times. The leaders at the meeting held in the western Japanese city of Fukuoka also proposed pro-growth tax policies.

According to IMF chief, Christine Lagarde, trade tension was the “major” headwind facing the global economy, and she told Japan’s Nikkei daily it was a “significant risk on the horizon.” The event was hosted by Japanese Finance Minister,Taro Aso, who also mentioned to reporters that the world economy should “firm” in the second half of the year but “downside risks still remain.”Aso further stated that “market confidence could be eroded” if China and the US did not resolve their ongoing trade conflict.

According to the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, there was a “real risk” that “this global economic slowdown could turn into a global economic crisis due to trade tensions.”

“A worsening of the international climate and a real trade war would lead to an even more marked slowdown in global growth, with a direct impact on our jobs, companies, factories and sectors,”Bruno said.

In their final word, the finance chiefs admitted the economic headwinds amid “intensified” trade tensions. However, they expressed hope of global growth picking up moderately later in the year and into 2020.

The finance chiefs all agreed to step up efforts to reform taxes “for a globally fair, sustainable, and modern international tax system, and welcome international cooperation to advance pro-growth tax policies.”

They also admitted the fact that current account imbalances may have “narrowed” since the financial crisis in 2008 but “remain large and persistent.” They also advised that major economies tackle the topic of aging as it relates to economic growth, while encouraging women and older people into the labor market and promoting “elderly-friendly industries.” Tax systems should be designed to “better respond to the challenges posed by aging.” They also talked about designing the tax systems to “better respond to the challenges posed by aging.”

On the topic of digital currency, the G20 said the concept could “deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy,” but that “while crypto-assets do not pose a threat to global financial stability at this point, we remain vigilant to risks.”

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