The IMF’s increasing role as the world’s leading organization in ensuring global financial stability was in the spotlight again as G20 finance ministers and central bankers gathered in Washington for crucial meetings.
A report published in Arab News on Sunday quoted a senior economist as saying that Saudi Arabia is mindful of the global recovery efforts and does its part to provide stability in oil prices as per the needs of global markets.
With a budget surplus of SR206 billion recorded in 2013, Saudi Arabia is in a strong position to play a influential role in global financial institutions such as IMF and the World Bank.
Saudi Arabia has been one of the fastest growing G20 countries in recent years. The increase in oil revenues has successfully been used to support growth in the nonoil sector.
The Kingdom has supported the global economy in recent years through its stabilizing role in the global oil market. It also has provided generous financial support to countries in the Middle East region.
The IMF has acknowledged Saudi Arabia’s role as an important source of financial assistance and remittances for many developing countries.
Expatriates in Saudi Arabia sent an estimated SR129 billion overseas last year. Such massive figures have also led to fresh calls to stimulate local investment.
The latest IMF economic forecast has the world economy growing by 3.6 percent this year and 3.9 percent in 2015. The finance ministers acknowledged a number of threats to their forecast.
There are concerns that reforms to the International Monetary Fund have hit a deadlock despite a declaration from global financial chiefs that they would move forward without the United States if it fails to ratify the changes by year-end.
The inability to proceed with giving emerging markets a more powerful voice at the IMF and shoring up the lender’s resources appeared the most contentious issue for officials from the G20 leading economies and the representatives for all IMF member nations.
Several economists believe that the IMF has changed over the years and it no longer imposes tough “structural adjustment” programs as it did in poor countries two decades ago.
The Kingdom had earlier indicated its willingness to increase its contribution to the IMF.
Big emerging economies such as Saudi Arabia, China and India also deserve a better voice in running the global economy.
It is likely that Western policy planners will explore the changing economic scenarios so that needy communities across the globe could elevate their social and economic status.
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