Leaders descend on Beijing for Bloomberg problem-solving forum

Thought leaders from the business world and the global political scene are descending on the Chinese capital Beijing for the New Economy Forum. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 November 2019

Leaders descend on Beijing for Bloomberg problem-solving forum

  • The two-day event aims to encourage solutions from the private sector to some of the big challenges the global economy faces today
  • Some 500 senior leaders will attend the gathering, of which about 200 will come from Chinese institutions

Thought leaders from the business world and the global political scene are descending on the Chinese capital Beijing for the New Economy Forum (NEF) run by the information and media giant Bloomberg.

The two-day event aims to encourage solutions from the private sector to some of the big challenges the global economy faces today — trade, climate change, technology and financial volatility. It will also prioritize issues of inclusion, urbanization and governance.

Justin Smith, chief executive officer of Bloomberg Media, told Arab News — which is a media partner for the event — that some 500 delegates would attend the forum, with about 200 coming from institutions within China.

“The reason we’re bringing people together is to produce a platform for discussion between people who represent the new global economy. There is a whole new class of people from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America who are not represented well in the ‘legacy gatherings’ that take place, which are typically more American and European oriented.

“The idea is to enable people at a principle level — chief executives, ministers, leaders — to have substantive conversations to find solutions to global problems and help mitigate the big issues the world faces. This is not just a talking shop,” he said.

Some 500 senior leaders will attend the gathering, of which about 200 will come from Chinese institutions. “There will be a big Chinese involvement, but this is because of how important China is in the global economy. This really is a one-of-a-kind gathering,” Smith said.

The opening keynote will be delivered by a senior member of the leadership of the Peoples Republic, whose identity has not been officially disclosed amid tight security at the conference venue outside Beijing city center.

While the issue of trade wars between China and the US will be a big issue at the gathering, Smith said that it was not the most important one. “This is not a US-China gathering — it is a global gathering located in Beijing,” he said.

Americans attending the event include former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, as well as Hank Paulson, who was Treasury secretary during the global financial crisis, and Janet Yellen, former chair of the US Federal Reserve.

There is a significant delegation from the Middle East, including Saudi business leader Lubna Olayan, as well as executives and policy-makers from other Arabian Gulf countries.

“The Middle East’s role in the new economy is critical. It has increasingly deep ties with China, but also has strong links with Europe and the West. They are in between western capitalism and state capitalism,” Smith said.


OPEC+ close to deal on next phase of oil cuts

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo delivers his speech during the presentation of the World Oil Outlook in Vienna, Austria November 5, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 4 min 59 sec ago

OPEC+ close to deal on next phase of oil cuts

  • Saudi energy minister stresses importance of alliance members meeting production targets as experts point to markets rebalancing

DUBAI: OPEC+, the oil alliance led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, is close to a deal that will take it to the next stage of the historic agreement signed in April to limit global crude production.

Ministers from the 23 countries of the alliance will meet via webinar on Wednesday to seal the deal, but behind the scenes officials from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have been in talks to finalize details of the agreement to add roughly 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil to current levels.

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, the Saudi energy minister, held phone discussions with his counterpart in Iraq, Ihsan Ismail, where they affirmed their support for the new phase of the OPEC+ deal, which they agreed would “enhance oil market stability and help accelerate the rebalancing of global oil markets.”

In a call with Timipre Sylva, the Nigerian minister for petroleum resources, Prince Abdul Aziz emphasized the importance for all OPEC+ participants to meet production targets.

Russia has already signaled its desire to implement phase two of the OPEC+ agreement.

Experts believe that global oil markets had made big progress toward rebalancing since the mayhem of March and April, when oil prices collapsed.

Demand has increased as economies around the world come out of lockdown.

FASTFACT

Russia has already signaled its desire to implement phase two of the OPEC+ agreement.

OPEC+ efforts to reduce supply have been effective, and members have been meeting ambitious targets for compliance with the output levels.

The vast majority of producers have hit targets of 100 percent compliance. Some — including Saudi Arabia as the leading OPEC producer — have exceeded their targets.

The next OPEC+ schedule, which will start on Aug. 1, will see cuts in production tapered to 7.7 million bpd from the current level of 9.6 million bpd agreed in April.

OPEC+ policymakers have been encouraged by pledges from some of the countries that had missed earlier targets — such as Nigeria and Iraq — that they would make up those shortfalls by compensatory cuts in production in the summer months. Nigeria has promised 100 percent compliance.

Oil producers in the Middle East traditionally use more fuel oil domestically during the hot summer months, and that will be accentuated this year as people who would have travelled for vacation, stay at home because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic-related travel restrictions.

The OPEC+ agreement, as well as natural declines in other oil-producing countries because of falling demand and crude prices, is credited with rebalancing the global market.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo said: “If we had not acted in such a decisive way, the market would have been in danger of a near-total collapse.”

Oil prices have more than doubled since the lows of April. Brent crude traded at $43.25 per barrel yesterday.