Al-Assaf leads Saudi delegation

Ibrahim Al-Assaf
Ibrahim Al-Assaf

Ibrahim Al-Assaf

:: Ibrahim Al-Assaf, minister of state and member of the Cabinet, is leading the Saudi delegation attending the two-day Group of Twenty (G-20) Summit, beginning Friday in Hamburg, Germany.

On behalf of King Salman, Al-Assaf will lead the Kingdom’s delegation at the summit, SPA, the official news agency, said Thursday.

Notably, Germany is holding the presidency of the G-20 summit this year and Hamburg is hosting the annual summit, where more than 20 heads of state or government, as well representatives of international organizations, will meet and discuss economic and financial issues.

Hamburg is a major trade hub, with Europe’s third-largest port, cutting-edge architecture, a cosmopolitan atmosphere and a history of international relations.

The meeting assumes significance as a platform to set the economic agenda for the 20 major economies in the world, with the G-20 leaders discussing global economic growth, international trade and financial-market regulation.

This year’s summit will focus on ensuring stability, improving sustainability and accountability, addressing issues of politics, economics, finance, trade, employment and achieving goals of sustainable development.

“The G-20 summit will focus not just on growth, but on sustainable growth,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a video message available on the summit’s website.

That would be a win-win situation for everybody, she added.

The visiting Saudi delegation is also expected to sign agreements with the member countries to further enhance mutual cooperation.

The heads of the World Trade Organization, World Bank and International Monetary Fund have called on G-20 leaders to take “decisive actions” to deepen global trade integration.

Roberto Azevedo, Jim Yong Kim and Christine Lagarde said in a joint statement Thursday that too many trade barriers have been preserved and new ones created over recent years.

They wrote that “such policies can cause a chain reaction, as other countries adopt similar measures with the effect of lowering overall growth, reducing output, and harming workers.”

They said that one part of reinvigorating trade needs “is to remove trade barriers and reduce subsidies and other measures that distort trade.”

Trade is likely to be a contentious issue at the G-20 summit.

China, meanwhile, stressed the need for friendly economic cooperation with the US after recent comments from President Donald Trump suggested he may be reviving his criticism of Beijing’s trade practices.

Zhu Guangyao, a Chinese deputy finance minister, said before the start of G-20 meetings in Hamburg working together was a “win-win” situation.

He said: “China and the US have very practical economic teams, we all know that peace can bring win-win outcomes, while fighting will leave everyone the loser.”

He said the two countries have maintained close cooperation since meetings in April between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping and that China hopes to “follow the important consensus reached at the (April) Mar-a-Lago meetings at the upcoming meetings of the G-20 summit.”

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