Kingdom facing current global crisis from position of strength: Saudi finance minister

Saudi king Salman and Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Finance Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Al-Jadaan has said the Kingdom was facing the current global crisis from a position of strength.

In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency early Friday, the minister pointed to the country’s huge reserves and relatively low debt obligations as factors that would allow it to withstand the slowdown of the world economy due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mohammed Al-Jadaan made the statement at the virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, which was held remotely on Thursday, the report said.

He was quoted as saying he expected the world economy to witness the worst recession this year.

“It will be much worse than the previous global financial crisis, especially that coronavirus pandemic has had its toll on humanity,” he said.

Al-Jadaan said the priorities of the Saudi government are aimed at implementing precautionary measures to protect the health of citizens and residents from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

He also stressed the need to adapt time-bound and transparent financial and monetary measures that will help lead to a rapid economic recovery and contain financial risks.

Al-Jadaan reiterated the Kingdom’s readiness to provide further support if necessary, saying they are closely monitoring the overall situation.

He urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to continue to have flexibility in responding to the needs of members given the uncertainty amid coronavirus outbreak.

The minister said the Kingdom encourages (IMF) to continue its participation and support for the Middle East and North Africa, pointing out that (IMF) has a good position to support its members, with its ability to support $1 trillion in lending.

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