Saudi Arabia is ready for G20, visitors: Ministers


DAVOS – Riyadh will host the World Economic Forum meeting on the Middle East in April, it was announced at the World Economic Forum here on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Muhammad Al-Jadaan, alongside other senior ministers at the WEF, said that Saudi Arabia has assumed the G20 Presidency amid several challenges facing the world, including geopolitical issues, climate change, technology problems and foreign debt volatility of countries around the world.

Addressing the WEF session on “G20 Priorities,” he said that the world is becoming more interconnected and the challenges facing countries are also becoming more interconnected.

The panel included Muhammad Al-Jadaan. Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman, Minister of Communications Abdullah Alswaha, Minister of Economy Mohammad Al Tuwaijri, and Assistant Minister to the Minister of Commerce Dr. Eiman Al-Mutairi and they discussed a range of topics ranging from AI to climate change.

The G20 summit provides an opportunity for the Kingdom to advance “some of the new ideas that Saudi Arabia is putting forward, whether in policy options or the like, where other countries particularly low income can use to promote their economy,” said Al-Jadaan.

It is also an opportunity “to receive the G20 guests, to show them what Saudi Arabia is about, to show them how hospitable we are and what we can show them as a country,” he added.

“The challenge facing a country is shifting fast to other countries because of technological development, and we must cooperate to meet these challenges through international cooperation,” he said, while emphasizing that the main objective of G20 Summit is to provide opportunities for all in the 21st century.

Saudi Arabia is preparing well for the G20 summit this year and welcoming visitors to the Kingdom, said Prince Abdulaziz, adding while concluding the “Strategic priorities for Saudi Arabia's G20 presidency in 2020” panel, “You can get your visa in five minutes. Seeing (Saudi Arabia) is better than imagining it. Come over and visit.”

One of the key topics discussed on the panel was energy security. The Kingdom has the “ability to be the savior of the so-called concept of energy security,” said Prince Abdulaziz.

“We are trying to monetize every element of this hydrocarbon resource that we have ... The engineers say it is doable, the finance say it is doable,” explained Prince Abdulaziz.

He added that the G20 was an opportunity to showcase Saudi Arabia’s energy progress and that it was “attending to its own energy requirements.” Prince Abdulaziz also brought attention to the Kingdom’s trillion-tree initiative.

“We in Saudi Arabia have this initiative of a trillion trees to be grown by everybody,” he said, adding that “You cannot attend to energy sustainability and stability without looking at every option there is. We have to agree that we have to be energy-source neutral. We will make sure the winner takes it all,” he said.

He called on the world to combat dumping and added that the Kingdom had called on the G20 to act on climate change.

Al-Mutairi, assistant minister of commerce and investment, while discussing women empowerment at the WEF, said, “Women represent 20% of entrepreneurs and project owners as well as 50% of university graduates in Saudi Arabia.”

"The Kingdom has implemented several legal as well as legislative reforms with regards women," said Al-Mutairi, adding, that these reforms included providing women with more opportunities and more labor market skills.

The Kingdom can expand these reforms to the whole region, and will be able to follow on with the women enablement through its G20 presidency, she noted.

Al-Jadaan also reiterated that the coming G20 summit would discuss a range of topics including finance and sustainable development.

The official Inception Event of G20 2020 Riyadh summit kicked off in Jan. 15, 2020, and hosted up to 400 global business leaders and experts.