King Salman says COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates Saudi economic resilience
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King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said that the new coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the strength and resilience of the Saudi economy.
This came in a speech delivered on behalf of the King, by Minister of Investment, Khalid Al-Falih, who received the final statement of Business Continuity Group 20 (B20).
“We are determined to enhance levels of growth and prosperity through empowerment and investment in new sectors, especially those sectors that will lead the global recovery and protect countries from epidemics in the future,” King Salman added.
The general goal of the Kingdom’s presidency of the G20 is to “seize the opportunities of the twenty-first century for all.” The presidency, in its current session, focused on three main axes, namely: Empowering people through creating conditions that enable people – especially women and youth – to live decent, work and prosper, and preserve On the planet by promoting joint efforts to protect global resources, as well as shaping new frontiers by adopting bold, long-term strategies to share the benefits of innovation and technological progress. During its presidency of the G20 this year, the Kingdom focused on discussing the human, social and economic repercussions of the Corona pandemic, by uniting international efforts to save lives, secure the response of health systems and protect the economy.
To these ends, the G20 has committed to closing the financing gap in global health, contributing $21 billion to support the production, distribution, and availability of diagnostic and treatment tools, medicines and vaccines for all. The group also committed to strengthening the coordination framework to combat the pandemic at the international level, to include protection of health workers on the front lines, and the delivery of medical supplies and foodstuffs. It has also pumped so far about $11 trillion to protect the global economy, with a clear commitment and determination to do “whatever is necessary” to overcome the effects of this pandemic.
The G20 has prioritized the poorest countries through a historic initiative to suspend debt payments of $14 billion. This initiative provided waivers to 73 eligible countries.
As for the structural issues facing our economy, G20 cannot talk about “forming new horizons” without discussing innovative solutions that contribute to developing the financial infrastructure, improving global trade systems, protecting the private sector, and supporting the restoration of capital flows to emerging markets and making use of digital economy tools that help to reach the desired financial inclusion during different circumstances. The group was also keen to intensify efforts to keep pace with the changing nature of education and work and to provide opportunities for young people to build a strong and promising economic future and to strengthen social protection systems.
From the perspective of investment, business and trade, this pandemic has led to disruptions in supply and supply chains and an almost complete halt in sectors such as tourism, as well as widespread disruptions in global markets.
Accordingly, the G20 discussed best practices to support the recovery of international trade, stimulate economic diversification and promote international investment, in addition to supporting the international competitiveness of MSMEs. The group has also done important work to support the reforms of the World Trade Organization presented to it by the Kingdom’s presidency of the G20, by agreeing on the “Riyadh Initiative” for the future of the World Trade Organization.
The G20 has attached great importance to discussing policies related to developing the highest standards of transparency and integrity in all fields, as it agreed on several initiatives during the final statement of anti-corruption ministers, which is the “Riyadh initiative to strengthen international cooperation in law enforcement for the authorities concerned with combating corruption.”