Kuwait minister stresses economic reforms in an era of low oil prices – Saudi hosts 42nd IDB annual meeting

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JEDDAH, May 17, (KUNA): Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Mohammad Al-Jadaan inaugurated the 42nd annual meeting of Board of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to discuss development issues and institutional matters.

The minister welcomed the program proposed by Chairman of the IDB Group Bandar Hajjar aiming to achieve a leading role of IDB Group and develop its goals.

He affirmed that he is paying much attention to success made by the bank in issuing recent sukuks.

In a keynote speech, Hajjar said increasing unemployment rates among young people and growing demands for infrastructure finance is a challenge facing IDB member states whose population reach 1.7 billion, and is expected to hit 2.2 billion by 2030.

He spoke about his program designed for next five years that includes some goals, execution mechanisms and performance indicators, with the aim of developing the bank.

He said the bank would rely, in accordance with this program, on an integrated network all over the world, and would mobilize its financial and human resources through various electronic platforms.

It will adopt comprehensive solutions in the projects and programs, he noted.

“Financing infrastructure programs (energy, water, universities, ports and airports) will also be part of comprehensive programs which include operation, maintenance, setting up roads leading to schools and others,” Hajjar said.

Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh has affirmed the importance of economic reforms made in Arab oil-exporting countries against the sharp drop in global oil prices.

The minister made the statement Tuesday on behalf of the Arab group during the 42nd annual meeting of Board of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

He referred to reforms made by oil-producing countries in the Arab world regarding strategies of diversifying economy, increasing non-tax revenue, control salaries, strengthening efficiency of general investments and others.

Al-Saleh urged the Arab countries, which import oil, to continue pursuing policies that seek justice, and develop systems and mechanisms of support.

He said major social and economic challenges facing the Arab region require intensifying efforts in order to achieve economic stability, overcome unemployment, and create jobs.

Al-Saleh called on Arab countries to overcome these challenges as much as possible, through benefiting from support by several international and regional developmental institutions.

He lauded huge efforts made by Islamic Development Bank (IDB) aiming to foster cooperation amongst member states.

He appealed to the bank to play an effective role in engaging in current international efforts seeking to determine new developmental goals.

The minister confirmed the necessity support by all member states for the bank’s efforts aiming to accelerate the implementation of projects so as to reach developmental goals.

He emphasized the Arab group’s abidance by backing the bank, expressing his gratitude to Chairman of IDB Bandar Hajjar for initiatives, executive directors and IDB Group staff for their sincere efforts.

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