Al-Assaf: Focus on growth to create more jobs

Al-Assaf: Focus on growth to create more jobs
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Al-Assaf: Focus on growth to create more jobs
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Updated 26 February 2015

Al-Assaf: Focus on growth to create more jobs

Al-Assaf: Focus on growth to create more jobs

Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf has emphasized the endeavors being made by G-20 to speed up global economic recovery.
“We have to stimulate economic activity to avoid negative impact of the global financial crisis… and focus on growth to create more job opportunities to citizens,” he said.
Addressing the first consultation forum of G-20’s business sector, he said the B-20 has identified 12 priorities including long-term investment especially in infrastructure projects, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and greater efforts to create more jobs and expand trade relations.
Al-Assaf expressed his happiness over Turkey’s assumption of the organization’s presidency this year. “I renew my support for the three priorities set by the presidency: Implementation, investment and comprehensive growth.”
These points along with the three foundations — continuity, comprehensiveness and coherence — on which the Business Group (B20) is built, would strengthen the organization to play an effective role in boosting global economy, he said.
“Saudi Arabia will be an active participant in the work to achieve this excellent vision,” the minister told the gathering attended by government and business leaders. The Council of Saudi Chambers and Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry jointly organized the forum.
Speaking about Saudi Arabia’s efforts to boost economic growth, Al-Assaf said: “We have a strategy for growth accompanied by an investment program and we intend to continue this program despite a drop in oil prices. In addition, we have taken measures to support SMEs and enable them to obtain finance. Moreover, we continue to invest in education, health, employment and social development programs.”
Al-Assaf highlighted the importance of economic growth to create jobs and the private sector’s role in accelerating economic development. He described SMEs as the biggest source of jobs and called for greater efforts to make use of its potential.

“The global recovery is still below the desired level while the number of new jobs added by the modern technology is less than the number of jobs that have been replaced by technology,” he said.
In some countries, the real wages remained fixed or down, the Saudi minister said pointing out that many countries are facing high unemployment rates and labor market issues.
“Given the size of the current challenge, the innovative measures of the private and public sectors should provide high-quality jobs, especially for young people,” he said.
Al-Assaf drew attention to the worrying slowdown in global trade, noting that trade is vital for growth and increasing employment opportunities.
 On the global financial reforms, the minister said progress has been made in pushing of these reforms and that the focus has been on completing the remaining items on the agenda.
B-20 can make an important contribution to determining reforms required and their impacts on banks of emerging markets.
Referring to food security, Al-Assaf called on the Business Group to consider issues related to food wasting and investment in farming. He said G-20 countries have the duty to make structural reforms to accelerate growth.