World leaders urge transformation of global financial system at Paris summit 

World leaders urge transformation of global financial system at Paris summit 
Speaking at the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron said that world leaders, the private sector, and international organizations should work together to reform the existing system. (Shutterstock/File)
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Updated 23 June 2023
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World leaders urge transformation of global financial system at Paris summit 

World leaders urge transformation of global financial system at Paris summit 

RIYADH: French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said that the world should act urgently to change the operational model of the global financial system. 

Speaking at the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris, Macron said that world leaders, the private sector, and international organizations should work together to reform the existing system, and if they fail in their efforts, it will negatively impact the trust of people.  

“If we miss the target ... trust of our people will be lost. We have to create a collective dynamic, and we need much more from the private sector,” said Macron, adding that the next two years will be crucial.  

Speaking at the summit, Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, said that the global financial architecture is outdated.  

According to him, it is also dysfunctional and unjust and has failed to provide a safety net for emerging and developing countries.  

“We can take steps right now and take a giant leap to achieve global justice. I put forward the policy brief, a detailed blueprint for a redesigned global financial architecture capable of serving as a safety net for all countries,” said Guterres. 

He added: “I have no illusions. This is a question of power and political will, and change will not happen overnight. 

“But we can take urgent action today to meet the urgent needs of the developing and emerging economies.”  

For her part, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley said that swift action is required to uplift the interests of emerging countries and the planet as a whole.  

“What is required of us now is absolute transformation and not reform of our institutions. We come to Paris to identify the common humanity that we share and the absolute moral imperative to save our planet and to make it livable,” said Mottley.

She went on to urge world leaders to join hands to reform the global financial system for a better future.  

“Let us, representatives of our people, at this unique time in the history of civilization, not only do the right thing, but do it in time, and do it for the right reasons,” added Mottley. 


Saudi Arabia’s finance minister names Ryadh Al-Khareif as his deputy on key IMF committee

Saudi Arabia’s finance minister names Ryadh Al-Khareif as his deputy on key IMF committee
Updated 8 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s finance minister names Ryadh Al-Khareif as his deputy on key IMF committee

Saudi Arabia’s finance minister names Ryadh Al-Khareif as his deputy on key IMF committee

RIYADH: Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan has appointed Ryadh Al-Khareif as his deputy at the International Monetary and Financial Committee. 

The appointment of Al-Khareif, who is also Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister of finance for international relations, follows the announcement by the International Monetary Fund in December selecting the Kingdom to chair the IMFC during the 2024-2027 term.

The IMFC advises and reports to the IMF Board of Governors on the supervision and management of the international monetary and financial system, includng responses to unfolding events that may disrupt the division, according to the IMF website. 

“The Kingdom’s chairmanship of the IMFC reaffirms its strong commitment to promoting multilateralism and reflects the leading role it plays in supporting regional and global economic growth,” said Saudi Arabia’s ministry of finance in a press statement. 

It added: “The IMFC deliberates on matters concerning the growth and stability of the global economy, seeking to ensure global financial stability.” 

The IMFC currently has 24 members, including finance ministers and central bank governors from developed, developing, and low-income countries.

Before becoming the deputy minister at the ministry of finance, Al-Khareif was the alternate executive director for Saudi Arabia at the IMF. Before joining the fund, Al-Khareif was the head of the studies division at the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA. 

Earlier this month, speaking at the Eighth Annual Arab Fiscal Forum in Dubai, Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, said that ministers from the region, including Al-Jadaan, will steer the direction of the World Bank and the IMF.

“For the observable future, ministers from the region will steer the direction of the World Bank and IMF — with Minister Mohammed bin Hadi Al-Hussaini (UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs) as the chair of the Development Committee and Minister Al-Jadaan as the chair of the IMFC,” said Georgieva. 

She also added that the Arab region has a crucial role to play as the world is going through challenging times, which include unprecedented geopolitical tensions. 

According to Georgieva, the Arab region can “plant the seed of a better and more stable future in these challenging conditions.” 

She went on to say that the role of the region in developing the global economy is rapidly increasing as the world is witnessing significant changes.


Jordanian exports to Arab trade region reach $4.2bn in 2023

Jordanian exports to Arab trade region reach $4.2bn in 2023
Updated 32 min 21 sec ago
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Jordanian exports to Arab trade region reach $4.2bn in 2023

Jordanian exports to Arab trade region reach $4.2bn in 2023

RIYADH: Jordan recorded a 12.4 percent increase in its exports to the countries of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area in 2023 as its trade relations continued to grow.  

The value of the country’s exports to the trade zone reached 3 billion Jordanian dinars ($4.2 billion), compared to 2.7 billion dinars in 2022, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

This has led the country to top the list of trade partners in the Greater Arab Free Trade Area in terms of national exports, Petra reported.

The economic bloc was established in January 2005 with 18 member states that strive for economic integration and trade exchange with low customs rates. 

Jordan’s main exports to the area include fertilizers, medicine, and fruits and vegetables, as well as salts and skin care products, furniture, and fabric, in addition to textiles and pesticides.

Meanwhile, imports from the countries of the area are topped by crude oil and its derivatives.

Despite the increase in exports, the value of Jordan’s imports from the country’s Free Trade Area decreased by 18.5 percent during the past year, reaching 4.711 billion dinars, compared to 5.778 billion dinars in 2022.

This led to a 16.9 decline in the country’s oil bill last year, amounting to 2.95 billion dinars, compared to 3.556 billion dinars in 2022.

The fall in Jordan’s oil bill contributed to the decrease in the value of its imports during the past year by 6 percent, which was reflected positively by a 10 percent decrease in its trade deficit.

Data indicates that fuel and mineral oils topped the list of the country’s imports of petroleum derivatives during the past year, reaching 962 million dinars, compared to 985 million dinars in 2022.

This was followed by crude oil, which stood at about 741 million dinars last year, compared to 962 million dinars in 2022.


UAE, Peru announce free trade talks

UAE, Peru announce free trade talks
Updated 35 min 31 sec ago
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UAE, Peru announce free trade talks

UAE, Peru announce free trade talks
  • Announcement builds on Peru’s decision earlier this month to open embassy in Gulf state
  • Bilateral trade was just over $1bn last year

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay: The UAE and Peru have announced that they will start talks for a free trade agreement later this year.  

The announcement came on the sidelines of a World Trade Organization meeting in Abu Dhabi, and builds on a decision by Peru earlier this month to open an embassy in the UAE. The two countries previously signed other agreements, including an aviation pact last year.

If the free trade agreement is reached, it would be a first for Peru with a country in the Middle East and North Africa, and the first for the UAE in the Americas.  

Bilateral trade was just over $1 billion last year, with Peru exporting $1.03 billion to the UAE — most of it gold — and importing $44 million from the Gulf state.

Peru’s government hopes a free trade agreement will help ramp up its exports. Its Foreign Trade and Tourism Ministry reported that the UAE, with a population of over 9 million, imports more than 90 percent of the food it consumes. Peru wants to fill part of that demand.

The country is the world’s top exporter of grapes, and among the world leaders in avocado and blueberry exports.

It is also a key fishing country, exporting fish for human consumption, as well as fishmeal and fish oil for industry. The ministry also sees opportunities for garments and other manufactured products.

Emirati exports to Peru are primarily petroleum-based products, with some manufactured goods such as lighting components.

DP World, the UAE-based logistics company, operates key port installations in Peru and has invested more than $700 million there since 2018.

A free trade agreement could be a stepping stone to larger markets for both countries. Peru has 19 such deals, including with China, the EU and the US.

It is actively negotiating a deal with India, with the last round held in mid-February. It was also negotiating with Turkey but talks have stalled.

The UAE has a limited number of free trade agreements outside its immediate geographic area, primarily through the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The GCC signed an agreement with South Korea in December, and one with Pakistan has been concluded. It is also negotiating with Britain, China and Japan.  

The GCC has few non-petroleum ties with Latin America and the Caribbean, but that could be changing.

It has made initial overtures for an agreement with the Southern Common Market, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The UAE and Guyana, South America’s only English-speaking country, have been strengthening ties.

The UAE announced in November that it would open an embassy in Guyana’s capital Georgetown. Bilateral trade is close to $1 billion.

The deal with Peru would be through bilateral negotiation instead of with the GCC. The same is true for any potential deal with Guyana.


GACA reiterates commitment to boost Saudi aviation sector connectivity to over 250 destinations 

GACA reiterates commitment to boost Saudi aviation sector connectivity to over 250 destinations 
Updated 41 min 51 sec ago
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GACA reiterates commitment to boost Saudi aviation sector connectivity to over 250 destinations 

GACA reiterates commitment to boost Saudi aviation sector connectivity to over 250 destinations 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector continues to expand as the General Authority of Civil Aviation reiterates its commitment to boost air connectivity to over 250 destinations. 

During the authority’s participation in a session at the third economic symposium organized by the Riyadh Economic Forum, Mohammed Al-Khuraisi, the executive vice president of strategy and business intelligence at GACA, reviewed the main objectives of the National Aviation Strategy, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

This aligns with the Kingdom’s efforts to achieve the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims for the Saudi aviation sector to become the top rated in the Middle East region. 

As part of his speech, Al-Khuraisi highlighted additional goals of the strategy, including developing the infrastructure and operational procedures of airports, increasing the local market share of low-cost airlines, and enhancing the competitiveness of national carriers. 

The National Aviation Strategy also seeks to enable fair competition and competitive prices globally as well as establish regulatory frameworks for operational procedures at the international and local levels, the executive vice president noted. 

Furthermore, Al-Khuraisi also shed light on Saudi Arabia’s achievements in the field. 

He underlined that the Kingdom jumped 14 places in the International Air Transport Association Air Connectivity Index in 2023, in addition to achieving the highest level of air connectivity during the year 2023 by reaching 149 destinations.


IMF given green light to establish regional office in Riyadh 

IMF given green light to establish regional office in Riyadh 
Updated 27 February 2024
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IMF given green light to establish regional office in Riyadh 

IMF given green light to establish regional office in Riyadh 

RIYADH: The International Monetary Fund is the latest high profile organization to get approval to establish an office in the Saudi capital following a decision by the Kingdom’s Shura Council.

The move is expected to foster greater coordination on economic policies and reforms, leading to improved regional stability and growth, the Saudi Press Agency reported.  

During its 21st session on Feb. 26, the country’s consultative council endorsed numerous agreements, including memorandums of understanding between Saudi Arabia and friendly nations, spanning diverse sectors. 

The resolution follows a recommendation from the advisory body’s Financial and Economic Committee, with Council Member and Committee Chairman Ibrahim Al-Mufleh, noting that it stems from a prior agreement project between the Saudi government and the IMF.