Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 1 June 2020

Saudi Arabia takes over G20 presidency

The kingdom's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud attended a handover ceremony in Nagoya, Japan

At a meeting in Nagoya, Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan to mark the handover to the kingdom as future host of the G20 forum. Afp
At a meeting in Nagoya, Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan to mark the handover to the kingdom as future host of the G20 forum. Afp

Saudi Arabia took over the presidency of the G20 nations for the coming year, which will be held for the first time in the Middle East since the forum was founded.

The kingdom's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud was in the Japanese city of Nagoya over the weekend for the handover ceremony and met with his G20 counterparts. In June, Japan, Asia's third-largest importer of crude, held the presidency of the forum for the first time and hosted the last summit in Osaka. The meetings took place against a backdrop of trade tensions between the US and China, uncertainty related to Brexit and a rise of populism around the world.

The world's 19 largest economies and the European Union, which represents more than 80 per cent of the global economy, convene every year to discuss issues facing the world and promoting economic growth. The forum, which gathers finance ministers, central bank governors and policymakers, emerged out of the G7 and G8 in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis and held its inaugural summit in Washington DC that year.

Saudi Arabia will hold the G20 meetings on November 21-22 in Riyadh, amid unresolved tensions between the world's largest economies, heightened geopolitical tensions, continued uncertainty related to Brexit and, a global economy that the International Monetary Fund has said is in a “synchronised slowdown” and projected to grow at the slowest expansion since the 2008 global financial crisis. Trade conflicts could cost the global economy around $700 billion (Dh2.57 trillion), or 0.8 per cent of its output by 2020 as trade growth across the world comes to “a near standstill”, according to the IMF.

Priorities for the kingdom's G20 presidency in 2020 are economic and social issues including women's empowerment and youth, infrastructure, food security, energy, the digital economy, human capital, environment and climate change, health care, education, labour and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Through its presidency, Saudi Arabia aims to further strengthen its ties with other G20 countries and to reach an international consensus on the summit‘s agenda items, and "in particular aim to develop effective policies to achieve sustainable and balanced development and create job opportunities", the kingdom said.

Riyadh will host preparatory ministerial meetings for senior government officials from G20 members and for representatives of international organisations, the private sector and civil society.

The group's 20 members include: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the EU, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, UK, and US. Spain is a permanent guest invitee. The 2021 summit will be held in Italy.

Updated: November 24, 2019 03:30 PM

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