Saudi Arabia will assume the presidency of G20, the world’s most economically powerful group of nations. The Kingdom will direct the G20’s work for the next year, taking over the role from Japan. King Salman, the chairman, will host the group’s 2020 summit in Riyadh in November next year. The Kingdom will play an important role to share the perspective of the Middle East and North African region and shape consensus on international issues in the summit.
The Saudi presidency in G20 is focusing on three main objectives. The first is empowering people, by creating the conditions in which everyone, including women and young people, can live, work and thrive. The discussions revolved around policies related to access to opportunities for all, sustainable development goals, financial inclusion, trade and investment, employment, tourism, health, education, and women empowerment.
The second is to safeguard the planet, by fostering collective efforts on food and water security, climate, environment, and energy. Thirdly, G20 sherpas, the official representatives of the leaders of the G20 member states, also aims for long-term strategies to share the benefits of innovation and technological advancement.
Through this presidency, Saudi Arabia is committed to continuing the work from Osaka and promoting multilateral consensus, as stated by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi will work with other G20 nations, striving to deliver concrete actions and realize opportunities that will enable them to face the challenges of the future. The Kingdom’s Minister of Finance, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, also highlighted the importance of improving access to opportunities, ensuring that the growth dividends were shared by all.
During the first official event in the runup to hosting the G20 summit, there were around 300 representatives of G20 member states, invited guest countries, private sector, international organizations, academia, attended the seminar. Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority was also among the representatives who took part in focusing on the obstacles faced by women, young people, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.
Adding to that, participants also discussed several issues, including the role of the public and private sectors to leverage technology and innovation in creating jobs, and ways to promote sustainable and inclusive growth.
Furthermore, the symposium offered attendees the chance to view displays from the Kingdom’s businesses, government entities, and NGOs that focused on technology, sustainable jobs, innovation, and the empowerment of both women and young people.
For the next year, “all eyes will be on Saudi Arabia”, as mentioned by political analyst Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri. This unique opportunity will be the time for the Kingdom to showcase its strength, both economic and diplomatic, to the world. Through the long-term and ambitious plan of Saudi Vision 2030, other countries will realize that Saudi Arabia’s strength doesn’t only lay in oil, but also in a more diversified non-oil economy.
Saudi Arabia’s strategic location will also generate significant opportunities. The Kingdom is connecting three continents and linked to important maritime straits at Bab Al-Mandab, Hormuz and the Suez Canal which are vital for international trade.