Yousef Al-Dayni

G20 Summit and the Future of the Post-Pandemic World

For an entire year, Saudi Arabia worked tirelessly to prepare the G20 Leaders Summit so that it can rise up to the challenges the world is living today in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The efforts were crowned on Sunday with a royal conclusion by political leaders, led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

King Salman stressed before the group the common concern over reviving the economy, easing the burden on countries, especially the poor, and fairly distributing the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available. His closing remarks emanated from the reasoning of a responsible state, underlining the need for greater cooperation, now more than ever, to combat the virus and restore growth.

The consensus among world leaders on how to fight the pandemic was one of the greatest achievements of the smooth G20 summit. King Salman underscored how the leaders of the world’s top 20 economies have supported important policies that can achieve recovery, leading to a strong, sustainable, comprehensive and balanced economy.

The hopes that were pinned before the G20 have turned into work agendas, programs and responsibilities that the whole world is watching. The leaders in Riyadh committed to the new approach of Saudi Arabia that is leading the future of the region. Through its foresight, the Kingdom was able to overcome crises and challenges, including its historic success in containing the coronavirus outbreak and prioritizing the reasoning of the state in rebuilding the global economy.

Significant also was the responsibility of building the post-pandemic world, whose first features were drawn in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. These features take into account environment aspects and climate change. Economic growth demands the revival of the global economic infrastructure in a way that does not damage the environment and climate. In other words, a shift has been made towards green economies.

This concept was born after previous failed attempts during the financial collapse in 2008 and 2009. The green lesson that Saudi Arabia is trying to consolidate is based on adopting policies focused on developing the sustainable economy. This goes beyond short-term financial incentives, but demands a shift from fossil fuels to a low-carbon economy and long-term commitments (5 to 10 years).

The G20 countries should therefore, focus their public spending primarily on primarily setting an example for the rest of the world. They must support innovation and green infrastructure in the private sector, develop smart networks, transportation systems, charging stations and sustainable cities.

The International Monetary Fund predicted that the global economy will contract 3 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic. Governments the world over have spent some 9 trillion dollars on financial incentives, loans to the public sector, in stocks and other measures. Some 8 trillion of these funds have been pumped by the G20 countries.

The G20 countries, led by Saudi Arabia, have taken on the responsibility of setting aside differences given their shared concerns of the repercussions of the pandemic. Ultimately, these countries are the source of salvation for the post-pandemic world because they boast the greatest economic and human resources. They comprise some two-thirds of the globe’s population and territory and 82 percent of its GDP. They are also the greatest competitors in the drive towards a greener planet because they dominate global industries. Therefore, the “green revival” after the pandemic will have an impact not just within the G20 countries, but on the entire structure of the future global economy.

The Saudis are united in taking pride of their hosting of the G20 Summit despite the pandemic. They are also united in confronting crises and challenges as they look to the future. The successful staging of the G20 Summit is one of the most important sources of capital for the effective state.

The Kingdom has made achievements through its Vision 2030, which is spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Through his constant determination, he has managed to restore political balances through facts and figures, which is a language the Saudis are used to hearing from him with total transparency. This leaves the enemies of the future and the alliance of crises stuck with delusions and empty statements that yield nothing.