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Arab finance ministry delegates discuss fiscal policies and reforms

Arab finance ministry delegates discuss fiscal policies and reforms
23 Jan 2024 08:49

YOUSSEF AL-BUSTANJI (ABU DHABI)


The ninth meeting of Arab Finance Ministry delegates, which kicked off in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, aims to exchange experiences and expertise and enhance coordination in financial policies and reforms among the Arab countries.

The two-day meeting, organised by the Arab Monetary Fund, was attended by Arab Finance Ministry delegates, as well as experts from the Arab Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Participants discussed various issues related to financial policies of Arab countries through several sessions. Participating from the UAE Ministry of Finance were Younis Haji Al Khoori, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Ali Abdullah Sharafi, Assistant Under-Secretary for International Financial Relations, and a number of specialists from the ministry.

Commenting on the importance of this meeting, Younis Haji Al Khoori said: “The meeting presents a key opportunity to exchange experiences and enhance coordination related to developments in fiscal policies and economic and financial reform efforts undertaken by fellow Arab nations to achieve economic and financial stability and promote inclusive and sustainable growth.”

Dr. Fahad Alturki, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Monetary Fund, opened the meeting with a speech in which he touched on the importance of studying forecasts for the coming years by analysing current variables on revenues, expenditures, deficits, and debts to determine their impact on fiscal policy risks and their effects on the macroeconomy.

In the first session, titled Financing Policy Risks in Light of Declining Growth Rates and High Financing Costs, the IMF addressed the sources of financial risks in the Middle East and North Africa region, ways of reforms and risk mitigation, and providing comprehensive analytical frameworks for policymakers to fully embrace financial risks in all their dimensions.

It called for authorities to intensify efforts to build their capacity to identify and evaluate financial risks comprehensively and their budget exposure to them. The second session, titled ‘Green Economy and Transition to Clean and Renewable Energies’, welcomed contributions from several Arab countries.

The World Bank presented a working paper on the specific impacts of climate change on the Middle East and North Africa region and policy trends to enhance the green transition, fiscal policy tools, and measures that can help enhance the green transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

During the session, the UAE presented its experience in transitioning to a green economy and adopting clean and renewable energy. Several sessions were held on various aspects of fiscal management on the second day. The ninth session was an open dialogue among the Under-Secretaries of Ministries of Finance, where the UAE Ministry of Finance shared its fiscal policy discipline.

The final session was about preparations for the 15th meeting of the Council of Arab Finance Ministers, scheduled for May 22, 2024, in Cairo, which will be held on the sidelines of the joint annual meeting of Arab Financial Institutions.
 

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