RIYADH: Continuity is important for Saudi Arabia as it prepares for the G20 summit, the dean of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.
The Kingdom last December assumed the presidency of the 2020 G20 summit, making it the first Arab nation to do so, and the summit will be held in Riyadh in November.
Naoyuki Yoshino, from the ADB, chairs the G20’s “ideas bank” Think20 (T20) and spoke about the transfer of knowledge to Saudi Arabia as it prepares for the world’s leading international economic forum.
Each host country selects task forces for the T20 to ensure continuity on policy recommendations.
“It’s important for Saudi Arabia to choose the topics which Saudi Arabia is facing and coordinate with other nations,” he told Arab News. “After we met in November of last year, I reiterated the importance of new topics and the succeeding of topics to ensure continuity. The co-chair of each task force is also very important as they can summarize each topic. We cannot exclude various topics but rather include them selectively, that will be the key for the success of the co-chairs. The Saudis have been preparing their task forces since our November 2019 meeting. They’ve selected the right people who will be engaged with the right topic. An example would be we in Japan have added the ‘Aging Population and its Economic Impact’ task forces as it is a topic of concern to us and many Asian countries. It’s a lesson for the next chair to learn from, as your country is young and with the change in demographic, the task force is a good topic to look into from both sides.”
He said it was important for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to use technology, for startups to have proper funding and for innovators to be drivers of the economy.
“Expanding sales networking is difficult but with the use of technology, internet advertisement is key to helping distribute products.” He recommended that Saudis set up internet companies, meet with innovators and provide a financial plan in order to get proper funding to diversify the economy.
There was a lot of room for growth because of the Kingdom’s young population. “It’s very important for Saudi Arabia to be part of the G20, in a sense that you are showing Saudi Arabia to the whole world. The success of the G20 is very important and the choice of topics is too. They have to set up very attractive topics that the whole world is going to be interested in.”