Saudi Arabia goes on with reform agenda ensuring fiscal sustainability

Saudi Arabia goes on with reform agenda ensuring fiscal sustainability

Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan headed the Saudi delegation to the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF); and World Bank Group (WBG) in Washington, DC, from Oct. 12 till 15.

The annual meetings were also attended by Dr. Fahad Al-Mubarak, Governor of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA); and a number of officials from the Ministry of Finance, Saudi Central Bank and the Saudi Fund for Development.

During his statement at the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) of the IMF; the minister welcomed the Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda, commending the continued efforts of the IMF to assist member countries. Regarding global policy priorities for the coming period.

Equal and swift access to vaccines

He stressed the importance of accelerating efforts for the international community through various initiatives and forums; including to ensure equal and swift access to vaccines and continuing to support the most affected member countries.

In conclusion, Al-Jadaan welcomed the recent upward revisions in Fund’s projections to the Saudi economy, stressing that the Kingdom will continue to advance its reform agenda to support the recovery and ensure fiscal sustainability.

The minister of finance also participated in the Development Committee of the World Bank Group (WBG). The meeting fostered in-depth discussion on the World Bank’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including access to COVID-19 vaccines, the unprecedented financing needs of developing countries to ensure sustainable recovery from the pandemic, as well as facilitating the transition from pandemic response to the stage of economic recovery.

In his statement, Al-Jadaan touched on the current role of the World Bank in responding to the pandemic, underscoring the importance of promoting equitable and fair access to vaccines in developing countries, especially low-income countries.

Sustainable economic recovery

He also highlighted the importance of providing support to these countries to help them respond to the impact of the pandemic and lay the foundations for a sustainable economic recovery.

In this context, he called for strengthening the continued efforts to reduce the debt burden on low-income countries within the G20 Debt Service Suspension initiative (DSSI) and the G20 Common Framework.

Al-Jadaan also urged the WBG and the IMF to support the implementation of the G20 Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI, which was endorsed by the G20 under the Saudi Presidency last year.

He commended the World Bank’s key role in responding to the pandemic, particularly in prioritizing health and protecting livelihoods. He stressed the pivotal role of the WBG in addressing previous crises; which qualifies it to support global efforts in addressing, preparing for, and responding to any future crises.

Saudi Green initiative Forum

On climate change, Aljadaan reiterated Saudi Arabia’s commitment to address the challenges of climate change at the domestic, regional and global levels. He noted that the Kingdom will host this October the Saudi Green initiative Forum and the Middle East Initiative Summit; as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to achieve the global goals to combat climate change.

He urged the WBG to include the Circular Carbon Economy Framework (CCE) in its projects; which was endorsed by the G20 as an effective approach to mitigate the impact of climate change.

On the sidelines of the annual meetings, the minister of finance and the governor of SAMA participated in joint meetings; between the IMF and WBG with the Arab Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. The meetings discussed the economic development of the region. It also emphasized the importance of supporting countries of the region in their response to the COVID-19 Pandemic; including through improving their access to vaccination.