KSA’s attendance at G-20 lights up Australia’s skies
By : Neil Hawkins
The night sky in Brisbane, Australia is being lit up with laser pictures of Saudi Arabia’s national flag ahead of the Group of 20 Summit on Nov. 15-16. Each year a different country is selected as the G-20 presidency and hosts the annual leaders’ summit. This year is Australia’s turn.
Australia is looking forward to hosting Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, and more than 20 prime ministers and leaders for this important summit. The 20 countries that make up the G-20 account for 85 percent of the world’s economy, over 75 percent of world trade and two-thirds of the world’s population. Decisions taken at the summit affect us all.
Australia very much welcomes Saudi Arabia’s voice in the G-20, which reflects the Kingdom’s significant regional and global influence under the wise leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah. It also recognizes the stabilizing role the Kingdom has played in the global economy.
King Abdullah attended the first G-20 meeting in 2008. In his speech, he stressed the importance of enhancing the role of the G-20 given that its membership is more representative of the global economy.
To meet the world’s biggest economic challenges of improving economic growth and creating jobs, especially for the young, Australia’s G-20 Presidency has focused on two key themes. The first is the need to empower the private sector and the second is how to make the global economy more resilient to deal with future shocks.
Saudi Arabia and Australia have strong economic records. Since the 2008 financial crisis, both our economies have performed much better than the majority of G-20 members. Saudi Arabia and Australia are both major energy exporters and recognize the need to encourage private sector growth and jobs for young people.
Another key element required for a healthy global economy is free trade. Once again, Saudi Arabia and Australia share a common view. Australian Prime Minister Abbott wrote, “As always, trade comes first — because every time one person freely trades with another, wealth increases.”
King Abdullah also made a similar point in his 2010 G-20 speech, “In line with Saudi Arabia’s commitment to free trade, it continues its efforts to support trade liberalization initiatives at all levels”.
In the lead up to the summit this year, Australia has welcomed Saudi Arabia’s active participation of a number of other meetings linked to the G-20. This has included the B20 (business leaders), Y20 (youth leaders), and T20 (think tanks).
We look forward to receiving Crown Prince Salman and his delegation in Brisbane and to continuing our joint efforts to build a brighter economic future for all.
The writer is Australia’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia.