Why Did 630 Int’l Companies Choose Saudi Arabia as Regional Headquarters?

An aerial view of the Saudi capital, Riyadh (AFP)
An aerial view of the Saudi capital, Riyadh (AFP)
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Why Did 630 Int’l Companies Choose Saudi Arabia as Regional Headquarters?

An aerial view of the Saudi capital, Riyadh (AFP)
An aerial view of the Saudi capital, Riyadh (AFP)

While Saudi Arabia is preparing to host 450 new regional headquarters for a number of international companies, in addition to issuing 180 licenses, Asharq Al-Awsat interviewed experts about the factors that attract companies to the Kingdom.

Saudi Minister of Investment Eng. Khaled Al-Falih has recently announced an agreement to grant 450 foreign investors licenses to establish their regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Riyadh.

Giant projects

Experts confirmed that the Kingdom offers giant investment opportunities and projects that are attractive to international companies, in addition to the country’s strategic location that connects three continents and allows reaching 40 rapidly growing markets within four hours by plane.

Experts say the Kingdom is the ideal place for multinational companies to establish their regional headquarters. The country is witnessing economic transformations and has an attractive investment environment, as the government has worked on regulatory and legislative reforms that facilitate the process of foreign companies accessing the Saudi market.

Geographical location

The head of the Saudi Governance Center, Nasser Al-Sahli, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Saudi Arabia was the largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa, and occupied the 18th place among the largest economies in the world, in addition to its distinguished geographical location that makes it the focus of attention of major international companies.

Al-Sahli stated that Saudi Arabia was currently working on several giant projects, in addition to having all the capabilities and incentives that attract the private sector.

In return, many foreign firms are looking for opportunities to expand their business and access these projects, he remarked, noting that not having a regional office in the Kingdom will deprive them of these promising opportunities.

For his part, economic expert Ahmed Al-Shehri told Asharq Al-Awsat that international companies are choosing Saudi Arabia as the headquarters for their regional offices, based on the country’s economic prosperity and tangible progress in all international indicators.

He added that the government has implemented legislative and regulatory amendments, in addition to providing incentives to facilitate entry procedures for foreign companies.

Al-Shehri stated that Saudi Arabia currently represents an attractive investment destination due to its geographical location that connects three continents, making it an ideal place for multinational companies to establish their regional offices.

In February 2021, Saudi Arabia announced plans to cease contracting with companies whose regional headquarters are not in the Kingdom by Jan. 1, 2024, to help create local jobs, boost investment, and ensure economic diversification within Vision 2030 and the strategic plan for Riyadh.



Saudi Arabia Offers Attractive Digital Infrastructure for Health Companies

Saudi Minister of Health Fahd Al-Jalajel during the opening of one of the new branches of Magrabi Hospitals in Makkah. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Minister of Health Fahd Al-Jalajel during the opening of one of the new branches of Magrabi Hospitals in Makkah. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi Arabia Offers Attractive Digital Infrastructure for Health Companies

Saudi Minister of Health Fahd Al-Jalajel during the opening of one of the new branches of Magrabi Hospitals in Makkah. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Minister of Health Fahd Al-Jalajel during the opening of one of the new branches of Magrabi Hospitals in Makkah. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Arabia’s health system has become an attractive investment environment for the private sector at the local and international levels, thanks to the government’s rapid restructuring moves, a solid digital infrastructure and the adoption of modern technologies, including artificial intelligence.
Saudi Minister of Health Fahd Al-Jalajel recently stated that by 2024, the Health Holding Company will take over all health clusters, as part of the privatization plan that seeks to bring a significant change in health services according to a modern care model.
These efforts aim to establish a system capable of facing current and future health care challenges and reducing operational costs for beneficiaries in the Kingdom.
The health sector privatization plan also contributes to improving the quality of health services and ensuring their financial sustainability, and stimulates companies to adopt the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence.
The CEO of Magrabi Hospitals and Centers, Mutasim Ali Reda, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Kingdom is witnessing a radical transformation in the health care sector, in line with the goals of Vision 2030, with the aim of promoting a dynamic society and a strong economy.
He stressed that this transformation focuses on improving access to health care, modernizing facilities and equipment, and enhancing the role of private investment in the sector.
Reda noted that strengthening the primary care system is an important step towards achieving more equitable health services and ensuring that every individual enjoys rapid access to medical treatments.
This objective not only contributes to reducing overall health costs, but also improves patient safety and the quality of healthcare, he underlined.
The CEO of Magrabi Hospitals added that the private sector plays a pivotal role in advancing the Kingdom’s efforts towards achieving its national health goals and ensuring comprehensive access for all to high-quality health care services.

 

 


Markets Bounce as MidEast Fears Ease, US Inflation in View

The easing of tensions in the Middle East has seen oil prices slip. Frederic J. BROWN / AFP
The easing of tensions in the Middle East has seen oil prices slip. Frederic J. BROWN / AFP
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Markets Bounce as MidEast Fears Ease, US Inflation in View

The easing of tensions in the Middle East has seen oil prices slip. Frederic J. BROWN / AFP
The easing of tensions in the Middle East has seen oil prices slip. Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

Asian markets rose Monday, clawing back some of last week's losses, as Middle East worries subsided while traders look ahead to the release of key US inflation data and corporate earnings.
With Iran downplaying Israel's reported attack on the country, which came days after a drone and missile strike by Tehran, tensions between the regional rivals cooled, AFP said.
While the situation remains tense, the lack of escalation over the weekend provided traders with an opportunity to pick up equities and helped push oil down.
The gains came despite a largely negative lead from Wall Street, where the Nasdaq shed more than two percent owing to hefty selling in tech giants including Amazon, Apple and Netflix.
Investors are now setting their sights on the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, the Federal Reserve's preferred gauge of inflation, which is due Friday.
The reading could play a major role in the central bank's decision-making on interest rates and comes after a third successive month of above-forecast consumer price index figures.
The disappointing CPI data has dented hopes for a cut in June, while traders have scaled back their outlook for how many the Fed will make this year.
The PCE report is followed by the bank's policy announcement next week, which will be pored over for clues about its next step.
Several officials have lined up to temper expectations for cuts, citing sticky inflation as well as a still-strong economy and labor market.
Chicago Fed boss Austan Goolsbee said last week that the battle against surging prices had stalled.
"Right now, it makes sense to wait and get more clarity before moving," he said, warning that bringing inflation back to the bank's two percent goal would likely take longer than initially thought.
Earnings from big-name firms including Google parent Alphabet, Tesla and Microsoft are also in play this week, with investors hoping for strong reports to back up a recent surge in equities.


Saudi Arabia Showcases Its National Programs, Global Contributions at World Energy Congress

Saudi Arabia participates in the 26th edition of the World Energy Congress taking place from April 22 to 25, 2024, in the Netherlands. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia participates in the 26th edition of the World Energy Congress taking place from April 22 to 25, 2024, in the Netherlands. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Showcases Its National Programs, Global Contributions at World Energy Congress

Saudi Arabia participates in the 26th edition of the World Energy Congress taking place from April 22 to 25, 2024, in the Netherlands. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia participates in the 26th edition of the World Energy Congress taking place from April 22 to 25, 2024, in the Netherlands. (SPA)

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by its energy system, is actively engaging in the 26th edition of the World Energy Congress, taking place from April 22 to 25, 2024, in the Netherlands, the Saudi Press Agency said on Monday.
This congress aims to address various challenges within the energy sector and its ongoing transformations, emphasizing the imperative to manage these transitions equitably without compromising environmental integrity.
Saudi Arabia's participation involves showcasing a cadre of specialists and experts to underscore the nation's contributions to the energy sector and its global leadership. This is demonstrated through various national programs and initiatives.
Additionally, the Kingdom will feature a special pavilion at the congress exhibition, themed "Sustainable Energy - Shared Future," focusing on its role as a prominent global energy producer and its steadfast commitment to combating climate change.
The pavilion will spotlight Saudi Arabia's strides toward achieving its national ambitions of reaching net zero emissions by 2060, or sooner with advancements in technology. These efforts are driven by the imperative of ensuring sustainable energy for individuals and communities, while safeguarding the Earth's future and its inhabitants.
Throughout the 26th edition, Saudi Arabia will participate in discussions covering pivotal topics in the energy domain, including the development of renewable and nuclear energy sectors, enhancing energy efficiency by 2030, and leveraging liquid fuel displacement.
Moreover, the Kingdom will actively engage in dialogues aimed at expediting the deployment of emission reduction and removal technologies such as carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), as well as the production of low-carbon hydrogen.


World Bank Seeks to Spread Saudi Arabia’s Reform Experience

Saudi Arabia was chosen as a knowledge center thanks to its pioneering experience over the past years. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia was chosen as a knowledge center thanks to its pioneering experience over the past years. (SPA)
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World Bank Seeks to Spread Saudi Arabia’s Reform Experience

Saudi Arabia was chosen as a knowledge center thanks to its pioneering experience over the past years. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia was chosen as a knowledge center thanks to its pioneering experience over the past years. (SPA)

The World Bank, in cooperation with Saudi Arabia, intends to establish a knowledge center in the Kingdom to support countries in implementing necessary economic reforms to bolster their competitive capabilities.

The center, which was announced in Washington on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, aims to spread the culture of economic reforms undertaken by the Kingdom in view of its experience during the last seven years since the announcement of Vision 2030, which established the rules for economic diversification in the country.

Saudi Arabia ranked 17th globally in the Global Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) report, issued by the Global Competitiveness Center. It advanced seven places in the 2023 edition, supported by strong economic and financial performance in 2022.

According to economists who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat, the center will boost the transformation of Riyadh into an incubator for global centers and regional headquarters for international companies.

It will also contribute to the sustainability of the ongoing development process and stimulate all sectors to achieve competitiveness as a basis for economic development.

Speaking from Washington on Friday, Saudi Minister of Commerce Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi said this step emphasizes the great progress his country has achieved in global competitiveness reports and indicators, thanks to economic reforms implemented with the support and directives of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Al-Ibrahim said the World Bank Group’s announcement that it had chosen the Kingdom as a knowledge center reflected Saudi Arabia’s pioneering role and its constant efforts to enable countries to build institutional capabilities to adapt economically to global changes.

Member of the Shura Council and Economic Expert Fadl Al-Buainain told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The Kingdom today is reaping the fruits of its economic reforms that it launched with Vision 2030 in 2016.”

“All the transformation and diversification plans that the economy is witnessing, in addition to the completion of the legislative frameworks related to the economic sectors, is the result of radical reforms led by Crown Prince Mohammed and implemented by government agencies according to a strategic vision and specific goals,” he stressed.


Oil Prices Retreat as Iran-Israel Tensions Ease 

A crew member looks at the oil slick in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig collapse, Thursday, May 6, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP)
A crew member looks at the oil slick in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig collapse, Thursday, May 6, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP)
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Oil Prices Retreat as Iran-Israel Tensions Ease 

A crew member looks at the oil slick in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig collapse, Thursday, May 6, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP)
A crew member looks at the oil slick in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig collapse, Thursday, May 6, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP)

Oil prices fell on Monday, dragged down by a renewed focus on market fundamentals as Israel and Iran played down the risks of an escalation of hostilities in the Middle East after Israel's apparently small strike on Iran.

Brent futures fell 67 cents, or 0.77%, to $86.62 a barrel by 0415 GMT. The front-month US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude contract for May, which expires on Monday, fell 63 cents, or 0.76%, to $82.51 a barrel, while the more active June contract dropped 64 cents to $81.58 a barrel.

"Brent crude prices failed to retain its initial surge, with broad expectations that geopolitical tensions between Israel and Iran may fizzle off given Iran's tamed response," said Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG.

"With that, markets continue to unwind the geopolitical risk premium tied to potential supply disruptions, which seems more unlikely at current point in time," he added.

Both benchmarks had spiked more than $3 a barrel early on Friday, after explosions were heard in the Iranian city of Isfahan in what sources described as an Israeli attack, though gains were capped after Tehran played down the incident and said it did not plan to retaliate.

"Higher-than-expected build in US crude inventories did not help matters as well, with near-term price movement seeming more of a supply-side story than demand," Yeap told Reuters.

US crude inventories rose by 2.7 million barrels, Energy Information Administration data showed last week, nearly double analysts' expectations of a 1.4 million barrel rise.

"Economic concerns again become a bearish factor of the crude market," with prices "under pressure due to a large build in the US stockpile and a hawkish Fed that led to a strong dollar," said independent market analyst Tina Teng.

Chicago Federal Reserve President Austan Goolsbee on Friday became the latest central banker to signal a longer timeline for interest rate cuts because progress on inflation had "stalled".

On Saturday, the US House of Representatives passed an aid package for Ukraine and Israel containing measures that would let the federal government expand sanctions against Iran and its oil production.

But markets shrugged off the news as the impact of the measures, if passed, would depend on how they are interpreted and implemented. Senate consideration of the bill is set to begin on Tuesday.

For now, ANZ analysts said in a note that volatility in the Middle East will keep oil markets "jittery".

On Saturday, a blast at an Iraqi military base killed a member of a security force that includes Iran-backed groups. The force commander said it was an attack while the army said it was investigating.

Separately, Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah on Sunday said it downed an Israeli drone that was on a combat mission in southern Lebanon.

Israeli forces and Lebanon's armed group Hezbollah have been exchanging fire for over six months in parallel to the Gaza war, fueling concerns about further escalation.


Tesla Cuts Prices Around Globe, Including Middle East, after US Cuts

FILE PHOTO: Tesla's Model 3 is displayed during an event a day ahead of the official opening of the 2023 Munich Auto Show IAA Mobility, in Munich, Germany, September 4, 2023. REUTERS/Angelika Warmuth/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Tesla's Model 3 is displayed during an event a day ahead of the official opening of the 2023 Munich Auto Show IAA Mobility, in Munich, Germany, September 4, 2023. REUTERS/Angelika Warmuth/File Photo
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Tesla Cuts Prices Around Globe, Including Middle East, after US Cuts

FILE PHOTO: Tesla's Model 3 is displayed during an event a day ahead of the official opening of the 2023 Munich Auto Show IAA Mobility, in Munich, Germany, September 4, 2023. REUTERS/Angelika Warmuth/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Tesla's Model 3 is displayed during an event a day ahead of the official opening of the 2023 Munich Auto Show IAA Mobility, in Munich, Germany, September 4, 2023. REUTERS/Angelika Warmuth/File Photo

Tesla has cut prices in a number of its major markets - including in China, Germany and the Middle East - after price cuts in the United States - as it grapples with falling sales and an intensifying price war for electric vehicles (EVs), especially against cheaper Chinese EVs.
The swathe of price cuts comes after Elon Musk's EV maker reported this month that its global vehicle deliveries in the first quarter fell for the first time in nearly four years.
Tesla cut the starting price of the revamped Model 3 in China by 14,000 yuan ($1,930) to 231,900 yuan ($32,000), its official website showed on Sunday.
In Germany, the carmaker trimmed the price of its Model 3 rear wheel drive to 40,990 euros ($43,670.75) from 42,990 euros, where the price has been since February, Reuters reported.
There were also price cuts in many other countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, a Tesla spokesperson said.
The carmaker cut US prices of its Model Y, Model X and Model S vehicles by $2,000 on Friday. On Saturday it slashed the price of its Full Self-Driving driver assistant software to $8,000 from $12,000 in the United States.
The EV maker has been slow to refresh its ageing models as high interest rates have sapped consumer appetite for big-ticket items, while rivals in China, the world's largest auto market, are rolling out cheaper models.
This weekend, Musk postponed a planned trip to India, where he was to have met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, citing obligations at Tesla. The trip was to have included the announcement of plans for Tesla to enter the South Asian market, Reuters reported on Saturday.
Musk said last Monday that Tesla will lay off more than 10% of its global workforce as the automaker braces for its first annual drop in deliveries.
The announcement came after Reuters reported on April 5 that Tesla had scrapped its plan to develop its long-awaited affordable EV in favor of robotaxis. Musk posted that "Reuters is lying" after the report, without citing any inaccuracies. He has not spoken further about the model, leaving investors clamoring for clarity.
Tesla shares have fallen 40.8% so far this year.


Saudi Fund for Development Signs Agreement to Support SMEs in Oman

The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD)
The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD)
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Saudi Fund for Development Signs Agreement to Support SMEs in Oman

The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD)
The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD)

The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) in Oman has signed a development financing agreement worth $67 million with the Oman Development Bank (ODB). The agreement is part of the $150-million support program provided by the Saudi government to Oman through the fund.

The co-chairs of the Saudi-Omani joint committee for the management of the program to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) signed the agreement at a ceremony at the ODB headquarters in Oman.

Director of Financial Operations and Chairman of the Saudi side of the joint committee Saeed Al-Qahtani and Director General of Treasury at the Ministry of Finance and Chair of the Omani side of the joint committee Zahir Al-Abri represented the two sides in the agreement, while ODB CEO Hussain Al-Lawati signed the agreement on behalf of the bank.

The agreement aims to support the ODB's initiatives in financing SMEs' activities, enhance social and economic growth, and create jobs in various states and governorates of Oman.

The ODB is one of Oman's most prominent government entities concerned with providing financing facilities for micro, small, and medium enterprises in the Sultanate.


Israel Launches Fund to Entice Institutional Investment in Tech Firms

A man rides a bike next to a message in support of hostages kidnapped in the deadly October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 21, 2024. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A man rides a bike next to a message in support of hostages kidnapped in the deadly October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 21, 2024. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
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Israel Launches Fund to Entice Institutional Investment in Tech Firms

A man rides a bike next to a message in support of hostages kidnapped in the deadly October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 21, 2024. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A man rides a bike next to a message in support of hostages kidnapped in the deadly October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 21, 2024. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Israel's government has launched a new fund to encourage institutional investors to boost investments in high-tech companies, the Israel Innovation Authority said on Sunday.
The tech sector is a key driver of Israel's economy, accounting for close to 20% of output, 12% of jobs, more than 50% of exports and 25% of tax income.
"The high-tech sector is a central and significant pillar of the Israeli economy, and we must ensure diversity in its sources of funding," Reuters quoted Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich as saying.
"We are in a period where we need to plan a strategy for transitioning from war to growth, and smart investment in Israeli high-tech is one of the first steps we are advancing," he said, referring to Israel's six-month-old war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Traditionally most investment has come from venture capital funds rather than institutional investors. The new Yozma 2.0 fund aims to change that, offering insurance companies, pension funds and other institutional investors a mechanism to enhance returns on their investments in tech-focused Israeli venture capital funds over the next 20 months.
The fund is being launched by both the innovation authority and finance ministry and will direct $160 million in public money to venture capital funds supporting Israeli tech companies.
The Israel Innovation Authority said it would contribute 30 cents for every dollar of institutional investment as part of the program. It will also waive its relative share of returns from these investments, either fully or partially, with the aim of enhancing returns for the institutions involved.
Alon Stopel, chairman of the authority, said the move is designed to support early-stage Israeli tech companies, particularly those in deep technology sectors, and ensure a "robust funding environment" for Israeli startups in the coming years.


Egypt Reaffirms Economic Reforms, Boosting Private Sector Role

Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait meets with Ivanna Vladkova Hollar, the IMF’s Mission Chief for Egypt (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait meets with Ivanna Vladkova Hollar, the IMF’s Mission Chief for Egypt (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Egypt Reaffirms Economic Reforms, Boosting Private Sector Role

Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait meets with Ivanna Vladkova Hollar, the IMF’s Mission Chief for Egypt (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait meets with Ivanna Vladkova Hollar, the IMF’s Mission Chief for Egypt (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait has assured the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Egypt is sticking to reforms to boost the private sector’s role in the economy.

Maait stated on Saturday that Egypt is working to attract more local and foreign investments, with the country's economy showing signs of improvement after recent reform efforts.

The finance minister had met with Ivanna Vladkova Hollar, the IMF’s Mission Chief for Egypt, on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings. The discussions focused on strengthening cooperation within the framework of Egypt's IMF-backed economic reform program.

Maait highlighted Egypt's improving economic situation following the implementation of comprehensive reforms.

He pointed to positive indicators over the past nine months, including an initial budget surplus of EGP416 billion (approximately $8.62 billion) – a stark contrast to the EGP50 billion (around $1.04 billion) surplus recorded in the same period last year. This represents an annual growth rate exceeding 8.5 times.

Despite facing challenges from global crises and rising interest rates, Egypt maintained stability in its total budget deficit, keeping it at 5.42% of GDP compared to 5.40% the previous year.

Maait emphasized that the government is focused on implementing fiscal policies to stimulate investment, production, exports, and economic stability.

These efforts aim to restore the national economy while maintaining financial discipline and reducing budget deficits and debt-to-GDP ratios to relieve pressure on public finances and build financial reserves.

Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation and Governor at the World Bank Group, acknowledged the widespread impact of global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions, supply chain disruptions, and rising prices.

These factors have disproportionately affected developing and emerging economies, leading to capital flight and declining foreign direct investment.

Al-Mashat highlighted Egypt’s extensive development financing portfolio, currently valued at approximately $26 billion.

Over the past four years (2020-2023), the country secured $37 billion in financing from development partners, with $10.3 billion specifically directed towards the private sector.


Saudi Central Bank Chief Warns of Soaring Sovereign Debt Levels

The Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank held in Washington (IMF website)
The Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank held in Washington (IMF website)
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Saudi Central Bank Chief Warns of Soaring Sovereign Debt Levels

The Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank held in Washington (IMF website)
The Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank held in Washington (IMF website)

Ayman Al-Sayari, Governor of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), has warned about the growing gap in economic growth between countries. He pointed out the risks of food shortages and increased vulnerability to debts.

Speaking at a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the G20, Al-Sayari stressed the importance of countries working together and having a fair global trade system.

This, he said, would help make the global economy stronger and fairer, especially for poorer countries.

The world economy is uncertain due to various reasons, including political changes in the Middle East, rising prices in many countries, and big economies keeping interest rates high. This affects how much money goes into developing countries and increases their debts.

Al-Sayari also said that countries with strong economies can attract more stable investments. Many countries are trying hard to control rising prices, which means people spend less and slow down the economy. This leads to more borrowing and higher debts worldwide.

Global debt is a big problem, reaching record levels and causing problems for countries and people.

With global public debt rising slightly to 93% of GDP in 2023, up by about 9 percentage points from its pre-COVID-19 level, the IMF places addressing global debt as one of its top priorities, with significant attention given to this issue during the ongoing Spring Meetings in Washington.

In this context, the IMF, World Bank, and Brazil, the current president of the G20, stated on Wednesday that there has been significant progress on global debt issues in recent months, pointing to new agreements on required timelines and fair treatment of stakeholders.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank President Ajay Banga, and Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad issued a joint statement on the matter after a ministerial-level meeting for the Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable (GSDR).

The meeting brought together debtor and creditor nations, international financial institutions, and the private sector to reinvigorate debt restructuring efforts that have been stalled for a long time, and to build a better understanding of addressing challenges.

The statement emphasized the need for improving clarity, coordination, and transparency among creditor groups, and providing debtor countries with metrics for evaluating their own debts.

Creditors from the private sector and debtor governments must ensure, before finalizing and announcing a deal, that the deal has been reviewed by IMF staff for consistency with debt objectives and program standards, and by official bilateral creditors regarding fair treatment of stakeholders.

Al-Sayari emphasized the need for policies that focus on making finances stable, saving money, and dealing with inflation. He also talked about how the world economy is coping with these challenges, facing risks that could affect its future.