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Al-Qasabi lauds efforts of trade and investment working group
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 22 - 09 - 2020

Trade and investment ministers from the G20 held a virtual meeting on Tuesday under the presidency of Saudi Arabia to boost trade and investment cooperation.
The ministers discussed recovery plans for international trade and investment hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting got underway with the opening statement made by Saudi Arabia's Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qasabi.
The Saudi minister said that the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted serious damage on our economies and disrupted familiar patterns of trade and investment in significant ways.
"As ministers of Trade and Investment, the measures we adopted in our extra-ordinary meeting in May were critical for sustaining the flow of essential goods and services across borders and limiting the human toll of the pandemic. Without such measures, medical professionals in many countries would not have been able to access pharmaceuticals and medical supplies necessary to protect themselves and save the lives of their patients," Dr. Al-Qassabi said.
He noted that under the Saudi presidency, the trade and investment working group has worked tirelessly under exceptional circumstances to put the trade and investment agenda at the core of multilateral cooperation. The outcomes of these efforts speak for themselves.
"In our extraordinary meeting in May, we collectively endorsed the G20 actions to support trade and investment in response to COVID-19 pandemic, which proved critical for limiting the potential harmful effects of the pandemic. We launched the Riyadh Initiative on the Future of the WTO, which offered a forum for G20 members to exchange their views on the future of the WTO and to support the multilateral trading system. We also compiled a set of policy guidelines that serve as a reference for policymakers when supporting MSMEs' internationalization efforts. We synthesized best practices and lessons learned based on inputs from the Group, with a focus on trade in services and special economic zones," Dr. Al-Qassabi added.
"Today, some of the worst days of the pandemic may hopefully be behind us. However, while some sectors of our economies are gradually recovering others are still reeling under pandemic-induced contraction. In these challenging times, the need for an open, fair and rules-based multilateral trading system is critical to support global economic recovery," Dr. Al-Qassabi said.
Dr. Al-Qassabi thanked each and every member of the working group for their dedication, commitment, and goodwill in achieving these outcomes. He also thanked international organizations and recognize their high-quality support to the group. — SG

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