KSA-World Bank partnership stressed
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, who arrived in Jeddah Sunday, held wide ranging talks with Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf on key regional issues, including challenges hampering the inclusive economic growth of the Middle East region, said David Theis, a spokesman of the World Bank via phone from Washington, on Sunday.
The talks also focused on the partnership between the Kingdom and the World Bank. Kim discussed regional challenges and underscored the World Bank’s commitment during his talks.
Kim, who will visit Lebanon and Jordan during this trip, “discussed the key role Saudi-World Bank partnerships play in the region as a whole.”
The meetings with government officials also focused on economic cooperation for development in the region. The two sides reviewed the importance of cooperation between the World Bank Group and Arab bilateral and multilateral partners.
Kim also discussed key regional issues, including the means to help Lebanon and Jordan contain the burden of the Syrian refugees.
The UNHCR report revealed on Monday that the number of Syrians who fled the war-torn neighboring country has reached 1,058,088.
“The Middle East today is at a crossroads,” Kim said in a statement released by the World Bank on Monday. “In one scenario, the political crises, violent conflict and deteriorating economic conditions of the last three years could deepen and possibly spread to neighboring countries. But we must commit to another more optimistic scenario for the region to realize its potential for sustained growth,” he added.
Kim said: “The World Bank’s strategy in the Middle East region is to work with its partners to build on the foundation of coexistence, good governance, and inclusive economic growth.” He said Saudi Arabia, which joined the World Bank in 1957, has been working closely with this institution.
Saudi Arabia and the World Bank have been partners under the framework of the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP). In 2007, the program moved toward longer-term strategic planning for better focus on results and impact. This is Kim’s first visit to the three countries since taking over as president of the World Bank Group in July 2012.