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  • Monday, 29 April 2024

During her participation in the Special Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Riyadh, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation participates in high-level events to discuss the importance of investing in human capital to lead development efforts and the transition to renewable energy

● The Minister of International Cooperation reviews the pillars of economic and structural reform and social protection efforts to support macroeconomic stability in Egypt

● Enhancing investment in human capital supports comprehensive growth and sustainable development... and stresses the importance of the World Economic Forum’s Labor Market Skills Reshaping Initiative.

● Countries of the Global South received only 2% of climate financing during 2021-2022, and the international community is required to assume its responsibilities.

● The need to stimulate regional partnerships and cooperation to achieve a just transition in the field of renewable energy

During the activities of the special meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, which was held under the title “Global Collaboration, Growth, and Energy for Development,” Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, participated in many events and discussion sessions.

Inclusive and Sustainable growth

In the context of the efforts made with the World Economic Forum to promote investment in human capital, and a as a board member of the Forum’s Center for New Economy and Society, the Minister of International Cooperation participated in the session “Meeting of Human Capital Initiatives: Reskilling Revolution and Jobs Initiative” with the participation of Ms. Doris Anite , Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment; Ms. Claudia Azevedo, CEO of Sonae; Mr. Yousef Al-Benyan, Saudi Minister of Education; Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, CEO of SABIC Saudi Arabia; and Ms. Harriette Jirongo, Advisor to the Kenyan President for Women’s Rights, Ms. Lisa Corstin, President of the African Academy of Sciences, Ms. Saadia Zahidi,  Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, and other officials from private sector companies. The session was moderated by The National’s Mina El-Orabi.

Al-Mashat stressed the importance of investment efforts in human capital to lead comprehensive growth and sustainable development, pointing out that the rapid development worldwide and changes in the requirements and skills needed for the labor market require a completely different workforce and skills that keep pace with modern technologies and artificial intelligence.

The session discussed the World Economic Forum initiative, which it launched with the aim of reshaping the special skills of the global workforce to prepare one billion people for tomorrow’s economy, as the ambitious program teaches the skills necessary to prove their future careers, such as artificial intelligence techniques.

The Minister also spoke in a discussion session on equal opportunities between men and women, where she stressed that in light of the economic challenges facing the world and the talk about economic recovery, women’s participation has become necessary to enhance international development efforts and reduce inequalities.

The Minister of International Cooperation explained that despite the progress achieved in women’s empowerment globally, they still face many challenges in terms of equal participation in jobs, capacity building, and access to skills.

Clean Energy Transition 

In another context, the Minister of International Cooperation participated in a discussion session on “Strengthening regional cooperation for the energy transition,” where she highlighted innovative methods to strengthen regional partnerships for just, equitable and sustainable energy, and to advance the transformation of emerging economies. The session was attended by Ms. Amani Abu Zeid, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitization; Mr. Alexandre Silveira, Brazilian Minister of Energy; Mr. Samaila Zubairo, CEO of the African Finance Corporation, Mr. Joseph McMonigle, Secretary-General of the International Energy Forum, and other private sector representatives. 

The Minister confirmed that the international community has shown a commitment to shifting towards clean energy and doubling the total capacity of renewable energy by 2030, and despite the increase in global investments in renewable energy, this increase has not reflected positively on emerging markets that receive less investments than they need, which is required for expanding equitable financing mechanisms to support the ability of developing and emerging countries to access renewable and clean energy.

Al-Mashat stressed that achieving a just and comprehensive transformation in the field of renewable energy can be achieved through regional cooperation and strengthening partnerships between countries. In this regard, the Minister of International Cooperation reviewed the efforts undertaken by the state to expand in the field of renewable energy and push the green transformation, and the efforts transforming into a regional energy center, and plans for electrical interconnection with neighboring countries.

In the same context, Al-Mashat participated in an open dialogue, in her capacity as co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Network for Investment Mobilization for Clean Energy in the Global South, where she stressed that developed countries and the international community have an obligation to fulfill their responsibility towards countries of the Global South, based on the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”, to enhance efforts to mobilize climate investments in light of the disparity in capabilities between countries.

She pointed out that the average climate finance flows reached $1.3 trillion in the year 2021-2022, of which developing and emerging countries received only 13%, while the countries of the Global South received 2%, stressing that despite the huge commitments that climate action requires, they are very small if compared to the cost of losses that could be caused by rising temperatures.

Media Interviews

Al-Mashat spoke in a number of media interviews  with international media, where she confirmed that geopolitical developments in the Middle East region negatively affected Suez Canal revenues and contributed to their decline by 50%, which subsequently affected the balance payments, noting that the government has strengthened its cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and implemented many other measures to overcome the effects of that crisis.

The Minister reviewed the measures recently taken by the state to enhance macroeconomic stability, create an attractive environment for foreign direct investments, stimulate economic growth, and increase focus on empowering the private sector to lead sustainable and comprehensive growth, through the implementation of the state ownership policy document. H.E. stressed that macroeconomic stability, structural reforms, and social protection are three pillars that the government is working on within the framework of the economic reform program.