Thursday, 23 May 2024

IMF Launches New Regional Office in Saudi Arabia with a Joint Regional Conference on Industrial Policy for Diversification

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will open a new regional office in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to enhance the partnership with countries in the Middle East and beyond. The new office will scale up capacity building, regional surveillance, and outreach to promote stability, growth, and regional integration. It will strengthen the IMF’s engagement with regional institutions, governments, and other stakeholders. The IMF is grateful for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s financial contribution to boost capacity development to IMF members—including fragile states.

The first director of the regional office will be Mr. Abdoul Aziz Wane who is a seasoned IMF leader with deep knowledge of the institution and a vast network of policymakers and academics across the world. He is a national of Senegal.

The two-day conference organized by the IMF and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance on April 24-25 in Riyadh launches the operations of the IMF regional office in Riyadh. The conference aims at reviewing industrial policy’s key principles and drawing lessons from its successes and setbacks in other regions, including Asian miracles. The theme is important for the region’s oil-rich economies, as they embark on ambitious reforms to diversify their economies by reorienting resources toward tradable activities, providing good-paying jobs for citizens.

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The conference will bring together regional and international policymakers, as well as leading economists on industrial policy. It will be opened by His Excellency Faisal bin Fadhil Alibrahim, Minister of Economy and Planning, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Jihad Azour, the Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department will close the conference with a roundtable discussion between policymakers from the Gulf Cooperation Council region.

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