Public-private cooperation key to resilient supply chains: Saudi investment minister

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Cooperation between public and private entities, as well as across borders, is key to resilient supply chains, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Investment said during a World Economic Forum panel on Thursday.

The Gulf state is investing in infrastructure and incentives to make it an attractive location for businesses seeking low-cost, low-risk, and low-carbon solutions to supply chain challenges, Khalid al-Falih added.

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The Davos panel discussed ways to adapt to changing global value chains to enable resiliency, sustainability, and inclusive growth.

Pointing at Saudi Arabia’s supply chain initiative -- Global Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (GSCRI), launched in October last year – the minister spoke about how the Kingdom can become a part of the multi hub system globally, “playing to our strengths of access to materials, access to relationships within the region and beyond."

Saudi Arabia is following a trade strategy that involves enabling policy and reducing the cost of doing business, while keeping the country open to international investors, he said.

Despite the war between Russia and Ukraine showing no signs of stopping and worldwide inflation continuing to hamper economies, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries could be set for an economic boom in 2023.

The Kingdom leads IMF world economic growth outlook projections for 2023 out of all Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries, while another IMF report said Saudi Arabia was likely to have been one of the world’s fastest growing economies in 2022.

“We saw inflation earlier than what a lot of people anticipated by July 2021… and we said, ‘we need to do something to protect the economy,’” Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said during a WEF Davos panel on Wednesday.

He was accompanied by participants that included Saudi Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

Some of the actions the country took included freezing the cost of fuel, the minister said, adding that the likelihood of inflation being high “next year” is low.

“There is a lot of work being done to insulate the Saudi economy. This also helps the global economy,” the minister added.

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