G20 event on infrastructure investment concludes in Riyadh

Family picture of the G20 Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) taken on Dec. 19 at the close of their two-day symposium. (Twitter photo)
Short Url
Updated 01 January 2020

G20 event on infrastructure investment concludes in Riyadh

RIYADH: The Saudi G20 presidency concluded a one-day symposium on infrastructure investment in Riyadh.
The symposium was held on the sidelines of the first G20 Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) meeting, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday in the Saudi capital.
The symposium brought together G20 member countries, international organizations, leading international and local asset managers, and institutional investors to discuss solutions to challenges that prevent or limit private investment in infrastructure. It was also attended by relevant Saudi government entities to enrich and reflect local content.
The symposium’s overall objective was to explore a potential partnership between the IWG and asset managers and institutional investors to collectively promote infrastructure investment.
Dr. Fahad Al-Dossari, deputy governor for research and international affairs at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, welcomed speakers and guests at the event.
In his opening remarks, he highlighted the importance of encouraging private sector investment in infrastructure to close the financing gap.
Al-Dossari said the Saudi G20 presidency will foster cooperation with the private sector to increase private investment and enhance the quality of infrastructure spending.
“This symposium will provide an important forum for G20 countries, international organizations, asset managers and institutional investors to put into motion a new collaborative model to continue efforts in promoting infrastructure as an asset class,” he added.
The Global Infrastructure Hub estimates a cumulative infrastructure financing gap of $15 trillion to meet adequate global infrastructure needs between now and 2040.
According to the World Bank, around 1 billion people worldwide live more than 2 km away from a drivable road, almost 1 billion lack access to electricity, and 4 billion lack access to the internet.
Under the Saudi G20 presidency, the IWG will focus on promoting private sector investment in infrastructure and exploring ways to utilize technology to increase efficiency, value delivery and sustainability of infrastructure investment.


Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

Updated 13 August 2020

Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

  • Saudi Green Building Forum granted accreditation as an observer to UNEP governing body

RIYADH: A professional association from Saudi Arabia will play a key policymaking role at a UN governing body addressing the importance of environmental needs.
Following careful assessment and consideration of the commitments and engagements of the Saudi Green Building Forum (SGBF), the nonprofit organization has been granted accreditation as an observer at the governing body of the UN Environment Program (UNEP). SGBF will play a role as an observer at all public meetings and sessions of the UNEP and its subsidiary organs.
Speaking to Arab News, Faisal Al-Fadl, founder of the nonprofit organization, said that the forum’s mission has been developing for the past 10 years and this accreditation was considered an important step in strengthening the role of Saudi civil society institutions, locally and internationally. This was in line with Vision 2030, which has not only played an integral role in the NGO’s mission but also paved the way for the Kingdom’s people to go the extra mile in building an advanced and resilient society.
SGBF was initiated in 2010 and established in 2014. In 2017, it became the first professional body from Saudi Arabia in consultative status with the UN.
“The Saudi Forum was an advocacy group with an honest voice to bridge the gap; through UNEP we now have the tools to become the policymakers,” Al-Fadl said. It is a challenge that the group founder says will be met by providing communities with the proper tools to implement commitments.
As the observing body on the environmental framework at the UNEP, SGBF’s role will include promoting its concepts and goals to be reflected within the community of change. For change to happen, people of a community at a grassroots level who have committed to the preservation of moral codes of conduct are key to changing mentality and behavior to guarantee a future for the next generations, Al-Fadl said.
“As an open platform, our role is being the honest voice of bridging the gap. Economic and social progress accompanied by environmental degradation and pandemics are endangering the very systems on which our future development and our survival depends,” he said.
SGBF represents the Kingdom and its call to communities, stakeholders, and policymakers to build on the principles of volunteering, advocacy and sustainable development.
For the NGO, their next step is increasing the engagement of civil society, finding solutions to the problem of volunteer integration in societies, and to prioritize and address social challenges for women, youth and the elderly, calling on member states to increase their role in building and developing practices that minimize the negative impact on the planet.
Al-Fadl added that protecting the planet and building resilience was not easy. Without bolstering local action, including volunteers to accelerate the implementation, it would be a long time until goals were met and result seen, he said.
“UN member countries have the responsibility in confronting the human crisis of inestimable proportions, which impose its heaviest tolls on the supply chain for those marginalized and
most vulnerable in cities and communities around the world,” Al-Fadl said.