Finance leaders from the Group of 20 major economies agreed that trade disputes pose a threat to global growth but did not produce concrete steps to tackle the issue at a two-day meeting that concluded on Friday.

The gathering in Washington was held amid mounting fears that recent friction between the United States and China could escalate into a full-blown trade war. Japan, which risks being caught between its two biggest trading partners, stressed that such a scenario would produce "no winners," a government official said.

The global economy has improved on the back of robust trade, with the International Monetary Fund forecasting year-on-year growth of 3.9 percent in 2018 and 2019, picking up from 3.8 percent last year.