The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques: The Corona pandemic has...

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques: The Corona pandemic has...
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques: The Corona pandemic has...

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud confirmed that the new Corona virus pandemic has demonstrated the strength and resilience of the Saudi economy. This came in a speech delivered on behalf of the King, Minister of Investment, Eng.Khalid Al-Falih, who received the final statement of Business Continuity Group 20 (B20).The following is her text:

The name of God the Merciful Peace and God’s mercy and blessings

Your Highnesses, Excellencies and Excellencies, Honorable Audience, May God bless your time with all good.

First of all, I would like to thank Business Group 20 and its partners from all over the world for their efforts during this exceptional period. We were looking forward to hosting you in the Kingdom, and for us to have the opportunity to welcome you as guests and friends, to enjoy its rich and varied historical and cultural heritage, and to witness this historical economic and social transformation achieved by our country. However, the Corona pandemic did not allow us to. During this year, the Presidency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of the G20 was keen to listen to your various recommendations through the meetings of the ministers, the “drinking” and the working groups of the G20 to which you were invited.

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 US $ 14 billion. This initiative provided waivers to 73 eligible countries.

Dear audience, As for the structural issues facing our economy, we cannot talk about “forming new horizons” in the G20 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.”

Honorable Audience, I would like to emphasize that many of the Business Group 20 priorities represent common priorities with the current transformations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which represents our roadmap for the future of our country.

Your group has focused on the empowerment axis, and one aspect of this empowerment is the Kingdom’s interest in the digital economy. With the world shifting to remote work, distance education, and even remote medical services, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was proactive and advanced in that. We also realized in the Kingdom that “economic empowerment of youth and women” is one of the priorities of the Group of Twenty policies, and is central to achieving the full potential of our national economy. We have undertaken wide-ranging reforms to empower women at home and at work, including programs and enablers for entrepreneurship, specifically prohibiting discrimination based on Gender in accessing financial services, making the Kingdom one of only three countries in the world to implement this.

And since among the priorities of the G20 and the business group is to “protect our planet” – an important goal that we cannot overlook, and we must invest in in the future – it is also a goal that the Kingdom has taken initiative to achieve, by developing programs and projects in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency development, in addition to an initiative The circular carbon economy, the “green hydrogen” project planned in NEOM, the environmental protection and sustainability methods used by the Red Sea Development Company, to name a few.

Honorable Audience, Although we have faced exceptional challenges, the pandemic has demonstrated that the Saudi economy is resilient and solid, and that 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. I would like to congratulate the leadership of the group and its members, especially your proactive recommendations in light of the anticipations of a second wave of the epidemic and the attention you have paid in the most pressing issues in the global economy. In conclusion, I look forward to receiving the report and recommendations of the Business Group 20, and look forward to continuing to work together to achieve the opportunities of the twenty-first century for all.

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