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Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan concluded his participation in the OPEC Fund Development Forum and Ministerial Meeting, which was held in Vienna, capital of Austria, on June 25-26.

Addressing the meeting, Al-Jadaan highlighted Saudi Arabia’s efforts to boost non-oil revenues and diversify its economy in a systematic, strategic way. This is part of Saudi Vision 2030, which targets opening up new sectors that provide the foundation for sustainable growth in production and non-oil exports, he said.

The minister said that these efforts will be supported by labor market reforms to enhance female participation in the workforce, continued growth in higher education and training to provide Saudi youth with the necessary skills, as well as improvements in the ecosystem for private sector investment while providing support to small- and medium-sized enterprises. Al-Jadaan acknowledged the challenges that low-income developing countries face while noting that each country’s own actions play the driving role in achieving sustained economic development over time.

The minister said Saudi Arabia was in a good position to pursue this development strategy, given its large accumulated savings and its rich natural resource base, as well as the capabilities of the state. He highlighted the importance of having a clear strategic focus and strong political leadership to push for and stimulate reforms, in addition to the willingness to adjust implementation plans while taking into account lessons learned.

On the sidelines of the forum, Al-Jadaan signed a three-way arrangement with the President of the OPEC Fund Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, and Somalia’s Minister of Finance Bihi Iman Egeh, to support the economic recovery in Somalia to reduce its debt burden with the OPEC Fund and resume financing operations in the country, in line with the IMF & World Bank’s Enhanced “HIPC” initiative.

The Saudi minister also participated in the inauguration of the #OPECFund expanded headquarters at the renovated Palais Colloredo-Mannsfeld on Vienna’s historic WienerRingstraße.

The OPEC Fund is a multilateral development finance institution based in Austria. It was established by the member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1976 with the aim of enhancing cooperation between the member states of OPEC and other developed countries in order to aid developing nations, especially low-income countries, in the pursuit of social and economic progress.

The Fund’s Ministerial Council and the Forum convene annually in Vienna, and the OPEC Fund focuses on people and projects that meet basic needs such as food, energy, clean water, sanitation, healthcare, and education, with the aim of encouraging self-reliance and inspiring hope for the future.

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