G20 business group highlights ‘collaboration’ as key to overcoming COVID-19

Yousef Al-Benyan, chair of the Business 20 (B20) group, told a press conference in Riyadh that the global health crisis was one of the main considerations when crafting recommendations for the G20 Leaders’ Summit. (Screenshot: G20)
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Updated 19 November 2020

G20 business group highlights ‘collaboration’ as key to overcoming COVID-19

  • Al-Benyan also spoke about the B20’s work to create policy recommendations that were “inclusive, action-oriented, and differentiated”

DUBAI: A collaborative and cooperative mindset was key to mitigating the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the world’s business community, the head of a G20 engagement body has said.

Yousef Al-Benyan, chair of the Business 20 (B20) group, told a press conference in Riyadh that the global health crisis was one of the main considerations when crafting recommendations for the G20 Leaders’ Summit, being held in the Saudi capital on Nov. 21 and 22.

“A great deal of globalization has shown that the only way for us to overcome any challenges, is by working as one family, globally.

“During this pandemic – I think everybody cannot forget 2020 – we have come up with COVID-19 initiatives to reduce its implications to the global economy,” he added.

Al-Benyan also spoke about the B20’s work to create policy recommendations that were “inclusive, action-oriented, and differentiated.”

The Saudi businessman, who is the CEO of Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), said the group’s emphasis had been on increasing women’s participation in business, and he noted that a separate working council within the B20 had been created to address the issue.

He pointed out that it was also important to focus attention on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as the sector constituted 60 percent of the global economy.

SMEs, he said, should receive financial support, as well as infrastructure investment to help increase their competitiveness.

The B20 is the official G20 dialogue with the business community and represents the global business community across all G20 member states and economic sectors.


Egypt expects economic growth between 2.8 and 4% in 2021

Updated 13 min 31 sec ago

Egypt expects economic growth between 2.8 and 4% in 2021

  • Unemployment indicators also reflected the economy's development

CAIRO: Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said the country was reaching positive growth rates, calling it a great achievement in light of the global conditions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Maait said the estimated rate of economic growth in the fiscal year 2021-2022 would reach between 2.8 and 4 percent.

He said the percentage varied according to how each person perceived it sectorally, and that industries such as tourism and aviation were significantly affected by the spread of the disease.

“We have a priority to make room for the private sector’s participation in development projects,” the minister added.

He explained that there would be strengthened cooperation with the Transport Ministry in implementing its projects in partnership with the private sector.

Egypt had been hoping for growth between 6 and 6.5 percent before the coronavirus crisis broke out.

The country topped the emerging market economies in containing the rate of inflation during the current year, according to data from the Egyptian cabinet, despite the global repercussions of the health emergency.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that Egypt achieved the largest annual decline in the inflation rate in emerging markets in 2020, compared to 2019, with a decline of 8.2 percentage points.

Among the effects of the economic reform plan were inflation rates falling to 5.7 percent during 2019-2020, compared to 13.9 percent in 2018-2019.

Unemployment indicators also reflected the economy's development. 

Recent data from the Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics showed the unemployment rate declining to 7.3 percent in the third quarter of this year, compared to 7.8 percent a year ago.

Egypt's monetary reserves rose to $39.22 billion by the end of last October, according to the country's central bank.

The IMF said the performance of the Egyptian economy exceeded expectations.