ABU DHABI, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, chaired today the virtual Arab Governors’ meeting within the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and World Bank Group, WBG’s, Annual Meetings 2020.
David Malpass, President of the WGB, Mirza Hassan, Executive Director of the Arab Group at the WBG, and several governors and ministers of the WBG Arab Group member states attended the meeting.
In his opening remarks, Al Tayer praised the WBG’s efforts in taking quick and appropriate measures to limit the repercussions of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also stressed the importance of these meetings, as they are platforms to exchange experiences in the fields of government financial work and financial and economic policies, and to discuss views on the latest economic and social developments regionally and globally.
He said, “The G20, under the Presidency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and with the support of the World Bank and the IMF, was swift and effective in implementing the Debt Service Suspension Initiative, DSSI. We realise that there is a need for an extension of the DSSI, therefore the private sector must participate in this initiative. Currently, the private sector accounts for over 40 percent of the long-term debt within DSSI participants.”
He added, “Digitalisation will be a key factor in fighting poverty and boosting shared prosperity, and we are confident that the World Bank can be a key partner in supporting our region in its transition to the next phase of digitalisation.”
He noted that in the pursuit of leveraging technology to the betterment of the region, the UAE has reached an agreement with the World Bank to establish a technological hub in Abu Dhabi. The objective of the hub is to support the MENA region, through building the necessary infrastructure, setting best practices and governance guidelines, and strengthening capacity and human capital.
He said, “This pandemic has disproportionally impacted women, most of whom are either employed by the informal sector, hold less secure jobs, or earn less. At only 20 percent in 2019, women participation in the labour force in MENA is less than half of that of the world. It is safe to assume that this rate has experienced a drop as a result of the pandemic. We, therefore, hope that the Bank tackle this issue urgently by mainstreaming women employment in its programs, and replicating initiatives such as the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, in which the UAE had the pleasure of participating.”
Source: Emirates News Agency