RIYADH: The world is going to witness a very difficult six months from now, as economic challenges such as high-interest rates and inflation persist in almost all countries, warned Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan.
Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative forum in Riyadh on Oct. 26, the minister said the Gulf region will stay stable amid these economic headwinds, adding that the Kingdom will support other regional countries facing challenges during these tough times.
“The region is largely split into two areas. One is the Gulf region, and for them, the next six months, and possibly the next six years, will be very good. The wider region is going to be very difficult, and it is our role to help that wider region,” said Al-Jadaan, adding: “Worldwide, I think, we need to work to ensure that there is more collaboration and cooperation to bring about stability, and that is what we are doing.”
The Saudi finance minister noted that the world needs stability and predictability to ensure the availability of macro-finance and investments.
Talking about climate change, he said this is one of the serious issues the world is facing now, adding that the issue is not going to be resolved with one country’s efforts.
He emphasized that all countries should cooperate and collaborate to resolve issues related to climate change.
“The world is trying to deal with this (climate change-related issues). The multilateral institutions are trying to deal with climate change impacts. In the region, we are making a lot of efforts to reduce emissions, to deal with climate change, and to invest in renewables,” Al-Jadaan said.
For his part, Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, Bahrain’s minister of finance and national economy, said that the world is facing a multitude of challenges.
“Inflation is driven by the disruption of the supply chain, compounded by the conflict in Europe. And now it is a period where there is food price inflation, energy price inflation and that is a big issue,” said Al-Khalifa.
He, however, noted that the positive aspect which gives a better hope is the reduction of shipping prices.
Steven Mnuchin, the managing partner at Liberty Strategic Capital, said that energy security is also a part of national security.
“I believe that over the next five years, we are going to see tremendous advancements in carbon recapture technologies. The short-term solution to climate change is really around carbon recapture. This is obviously a global issue and it needs to be dealt with,” added Munchin.