Mohammed Al–Tuwaijri, Saudi Arabia’s minister of economy and planning

Mohammed Al–Tuwaijri
Updated 24 May 2019

Mohammed Al–Tuwaijri, Saudi Arabia’s minister of economy and planning

Mohammed Al–Tuwaijri has been Saudi Arabia’s minister of economy and planning since November 2017. He is also on the board of directors at Saudi Aramco, Saudi Railways Co., and Saudi Arabian Airlines.

Al-Tuwaijri holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics, acquired in 1980 from King Faisal Air Academy, and a master’s degree in business administration in finance from King Saud University. He began his career in 1988 as a pilot in the Royal Saudi Air Force. He took part in the Gulf War of 1991, winning multiple medals for his service.

He left the Air Force in 1993, changing careers to the banking sector. He joined the Saudi British Bank in 1995 as head of risk management. 

From 2007 to 2010, Al-Tuwaijri was CEO of J.P. Morgan Saudi Arabia. He moved to HSBC, where he worked in various roles, including CEO of global banking and markets, regional head of service management, and group vice president and CEO of HSBC MENA and Turkey.

Al-Tuwaijri was appointed vice minister at the Ministry of Economy and Planning in 2016 before becoming minister the following year. He is also the general secretary of the finance committee at the Royal Court, and chairman of the National Center for Privatization, the General Authority for Statistics, and the Center for Strategic Development.

Al-Tuwaijri will be attending the Peace to Prosperity conference —  which will discuss the Israel-Palestine peace plan — in Bahrain on June 25-26. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE will be using the conference to encourage investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

W20 stresses importance of gender inclusivity across G20 groups

Updated 18 min 26 sec ago

W20 stresses importance of gender inclusivity across G20 groups

  • Women 20 (W20) meeting was hosted by Saudi Arabia as part of its G20 presidency

RIYADH: The second day of the virtual Women 20 (W20) meeting — hosted by Saudi Arabia as part of its G20 presidency — stressed the importance of ensuring inclusivity across the G20’s different working groups.

“The women’s empowerment team at the G20 Secretariat was established by the Saudi sherpa and… my team has engaged with working groups and discussed their topics, such as finance-track development, employment, health, education, agriculture, anti-corruption, energy, the digital economy, tourism, and trade and investments,” said Hala Altuwaijri, chair of the Women's Empowerment Team at the G20 Secretariat and secretary-general of the Family Affairs Council.

She added: “What we learned from previous presidencies is that we look at female empowerment as mainstream, as cross-cutting, and that it should not be the focus of one group only. In other words, every working group should have the empowerment of women as a priority... this is what the Saudi presidency has committed to.”

Addressing gender in the workplace, Libby Lyons, director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency in Australia, said that Australia will close the equality gap at all management levels within the next 20 years.

“Forty-three percent (of) all promotions went to women last year in the private sector in Australia. The problem persists, however, for women accessing leadership positions such as CEOs and board members,” she said in a session titled “G20 Policies: Catalyzing Women's Economic Empowerment.”

Lyons’ agency has been collecting data annually for more than seven years from every organization in the private sector with more than 100 employees, giving it a clear picture of what is happening in terms of gender equality. “We must collect standardized data to track what we are doing and assess our actions,” she noted.

She said that in Australia, private enterprise is driving this change, facilitated by the government, which is a unique model. “I think that it is a lesson we can all learn,” Lyons said.

Discussing the most notable G20 commitments over the last five years, Wendy Teleki, head of We-Fi Secretariat, said that We-Fi was founded in 2017 at the G20 Hamburg Summit focused on supporting entrepreneurs around the world.

Since then, it has allocated $300 million in funds through its partners to programs that are ultimately expected to benefit more than 130,000 women, she added.

This year, We-Fi has allocated an additional $50 million and Teleki said that another $50 million “will be allocated to the issues of technology, early-stage financing, and COVID-19 relief response to empower women entrepreneurs and help them in their reliance on technology.”

Addressing the private-sector alliance, empowerment and progression of women’s economic representation, which was established last year in Japan as a means to advocate the advancement of women in the private sector, Tomoko Hayashi, director-general of the Gender Equality Bureau in the Cabinet Office said: “The Empower project…aims to increase the number of women with access to leadership positions. Also it devises actionable plans to increase the digital literacy of women in developing countries.”

She added: “COVID-19 has greatly impacted women, including (by) increasing rates of unemployment and domestic violence. At the same time, it created a great opportunity for women to change the rules of the game.”