The Saudi government is witnessing a historic milestone, hosting the G20 for the first time in its history under the exceptional circumstances of the global pandemic of COVID-19. In the run-up to the summit, Saudi Arabia has hosted more than 100 meetings and conferences, including ministerial meetings and those of officials and representatives from civil society.
The impact of the pandemic has pushed the global economy into recession this year. Governments across the world have taken multiple actions to slow the spread of the pandemic. Saudi Arabia and the other 19 economies have taken a decision to inject more than $11 trillion into the global economy as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures and guarantee schemes to blunt economic fallout from the pandemic.
Yesterday, I was watching King Salman’s speech during the opening ceremony. He emphasized the critical roles of coordination and collaboration among the G20 members to combat the pandemic and its catastrophic impact on human lives by committing $21 billion to develop and secure the needed treatments and vaccines for this virus.
On the business front, the B20 is an integral part of the G20 process, representing the entire G20 business community. The mission of the B20 was to support the G20 through consolidated representation of interests, concrete policy proposals and expertise. Furthermore, the B20 promotes dialogue among policymakers, civil society and business at an international level.
B20 members have invested considerable preparation and held many workshops over the past months, exchanging ideas and comparing notes virtually, as well as showcasing their competitive advantages.
Other groups include Civil society (C20), Labor (L20), Science (S20), Think tanks (T20), Urban (U20), Women (W20) and Youth (Y20). The outcome of these meetings will be presented today as recommendations during the G20 leaders’ session.
It is worth noting here that the Saudi Vision 2030 corresponds to the priorities of the G20, including achieving macroeconomic stability, sustainable development, women’s empowerment, enhanced human capital and the increased flow of trade and investment.
In my opinion, as the entire world set their watches to the KSA time zone yesterday and today, this is a historic milestone event not only for Saudi Arabia but also worldwide. As we watch the proceedings of this summit, we are witnessing the end of a single or dual power economies and the beginning of multiple super powers, including that of Saudi Arabia. Together, they will spread peace, prosperity and growth for their people on planet earth.
Basil M.K. Al-Ghalayini is the chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group.