G20 to Launch Riyadh Initiative for Future of World Trade

Saudi Arabia's central bank governor Ahmed al-Kholifey speaks at the G20 conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 22, 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

G20’s Working Group on Trade and Investment disclosed an initiative for the future of the World Trade Organization. It also affirmed the determination to set common rules and principles among all member countries regarding global trade.

The Group also highlighted the clear effects of the coronavirus in slowing trade and disrupting supply chains.

Under the Kingdom’s presidency of the G20; the first meeting of the Trade and Investment Working Group was on March 8-9. It was under the chairmanship of the Governor of the General Authority for Foreign Trade Abdul Rahman Al-Harbi.

The meeting discussed the current developments of international trade, the reform of the World Trade Organization. Besides, economic diversification paths, and the means to enhance global competitiveness of micro, small, and medium enterprises. Especially with regard to empowering women and youth and promoting international investment.

In his opening address; Harbi stressed Saudi Arabia’s sympathy with the victims of the coronavirus and their families. He also expressed the concerns of the G20 presidency regarding the serious effects of the spread of the virus on trade and economic growth.

In this context, the participating delegations expressed the responsibility of the G20 members to face the risks of the spread of the virus and its dire consequences. It also underlined the need to put in place measures related to trade and investment that could contribute to mitigating the effects of this crisis, and to help all those affected.

Based on the consensus and support of all members; they launch the Riyadh Initiative on the Future of the World Trade Organization at the end of the session.