Saudi Arabia’s impact on the global economy as part of the G20

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The 13th meeting of the Group of Twenty (G20) will be held this weekend in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The G20 is a leading forum of the world’s major economies that seeks to develop global policies in order to address current pressing challenges.

Saudi Arabia enjoys a privileged position in both economic and geopolitical terms; the Kingdom’s international political and economic importance is reflected in its rising stature on the world stage. G20 members represent all inhabited continents, 85 percent of global economic output, two-thirds of the world’s population and 75 percent of international trade.

The annual gathering of leaders from the world’s 19 top industrialized and emerging economies plus the European Union will be held next year in Japan, and in 2020, Saudi Arabia will host the 15th meeting of the G20 in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia is the only Arab country among the members of the G20. Additionally, the Kingdom is the only G20 country that is a current member of OPEC, due to its leading role in the global economy and its power in balancing the world oil price.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia is heavily connected to the world’s economy through energy markets, and in fact it is an honor for the entire Arab and Muslim world to have such a state as the Kingdom with a massive source of power.

Nowadays, Saudi Arabia has shifted its economic focus in line with Saudi Vision 2030 on capital regional and foreign investment as well as banking and financial systems. However, the Kingdom remains one of the world’s main producers of oil with powerful influence on the world’s oil market.

What makes oil production remarkable in Saudi Arabia is that it is controlled by Saudi Aramco, which is the state-owned oil company and reportedly the most profitable oil company worldwide. This is unlike Russia where oil production is concentrated among several companies and in the US where hundreds of companies act in their own self-interest.

Saudi Arabia is the only oil producer with significant spare capacity on hand and as such the Kingdom has the power to influence the oil market and impact the global economy. The Kingdom has massive economic wealth and power, and global economic security will continue to depend on its cooperation.

According to these reasons and facts, Saudi Arabia has earned its place among the members of the G20. In line with the economy, Saudi Arabia should also focus on environmental issues in order to achieve more Sustainable Development Goals.

— The author is a Saudi political analyst specialized in International Relations. She can be reached at: ekleel.sallam@hotmail.com Twitter: @EkleelBS


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