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UAE contributes to Joint Annual Meeting of Arab Financial Institutions and Council of Arab Finance Ministers

UAE contributes to Joint Annual Meeting of Arab Financial Institutions and Council of Arab Finance Ministers
23 May 2024 18:36

CAIRO (WAM)

The UAE, represented by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), participated in the Annual Joint Meeting of Arab Financial Institutions.

The event was was organised under the patronage of Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and held in the presence of Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

The UAE delegation also participated in the meeting of the Council of Arab Finance Ministers, discussing a number of issues to enhance joint Arab work and enabling partnerships among regional and international Arab institutions to finance projects that promote development and address the current challenges facing Arab countries.

Notably, the delegation included Mohamed Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, Younis Haji Al Khoori, Under-Secretary of the UAE Ministry of Finance, Ebrahim Al Zaabi, Assistant Governor for Monetary Policy and Financial Stability at the Central Bank of the UAE, Mariam Mohamed Al Amiri, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Financial Management Sector at the UAE Ministry of Finance, and Ali Abdullah Sharafi, Acting Assistant Under-Secretary of International Financial Relations at the UAE Ministry of Finance, accompanied by several specialists from the UAE Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of the UAE.

The annual meetings included sessions of the Board of Governors of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Board of Governors of the Arab Monetary Fund, the Board of Governors of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the Board of Shareholders of the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation, and the Board of Shareholders of the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development.

The regular session of the Council of Arab Finance Ministers was held on the sidelines of the Annual Joint Meeting of Arab Financial Institutions.

Moreover, the UAE Ministry of Finance held a bilateral meeting with the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The operational performance and achievements of the Arab institutions over the past year were reviewed, the annual reports and financial statements for 2023 were approved, and development plans and strategies supporting the enhancement of joint Arab work were examined.

Furthermore, the Abdlatif Y. Al-Hamad Development Award in the Arab World for 2023 was presented to the Bahr El-Baqar Water Treatment Plant project.

During the meeting of the Council of Arab Finance Ministers, Mohamed Al Hussaini emphasised the importance of providing more accessible and appropriately priced climate financing, and the necessity of supporting renewable energy technologies and reducing emissions to address the significant risks that climate change poses to sustainable growth and the well-being of populations.

Commenting on the paper presented by the Arab Monetary Fund on ‘Climate Change and Policy Options’, Al Hussaini underscored the UAE’s efforts in enhancing investment in green infrastructure, supporting blended finance solutions in developing countries, and launching the clean energy finance initiative, through which it committed $4.5 billion to help stimulate Africa’s clean energy capabilities, calling for effective mobilisation of private capital to expand climate-resilient infrastructure and emphasising the importance of investing in green skills as a cornerstone for enhancing effective climate action.

This led the UAE, in December 2023, to launch the Green Capabilities Global Alliance for Government, a global platform aimed at bridging the gap in green capabilities worldwide and ensuring the exchange of best innovative training practices.

Al Hussaini reaffirmed the commitments made at COP28, hosted by the UAE, and highlighted the urgent need for coordinated global political efforts to address the impacts of climate change and to chart a clear roadmap for future climate action, moving away from fossil fuels and tripling renewable energy by 2030.

Moreover, the UAE Ministry of Finance participated in a high-level workshop, attended by Younis Haji Al Khoori, which took place on the sidelines of the Annual Joint Meeting of Arab Financial Institutions.

The workshop focused on the role of economic and macroprudential policies in enhancing response capabilities and resilience to shocks and promoting growth.

Additionally, it addressed the requirements of Arab markets, the aspirations of member countries in attracting investments, enhancing and developing Arab exports, the importance of studying financial sustainability, and improving financial resources to increase developmental impact and improve returns, thereby enhancing the developmental capacity of the institution in Arab markets.

The role of macroprudential policies in managing shocks and building resilience in the Arab region, which has faced a series of shocks in recent years, including the pandemic, global inflation spikes, increased commodity price volatility, escalating geopolitical tensions, and trade disruptions, was also discussed, highlighting their impact on economic activity, exacerbating vulnerabilities, and reducing policy space in some countries.

A session titled ‘Balancing Fiscal Discipline with Inclusive and Sustainable Growth’ explored economic prospects and how they are impacted by various structural factors such as high youth and female unemployment, widespread inequality, social protection systems, inadequate economic diversification in several regional economies, and the impacts of uncertainties surrounding structural changes in the global economy, especially with climate change, digital transformation, and economic fragmentation.

In another session titled ‘Local Debt Markets to Enhance Resilience and Finance Growth’, participants discussed the recent tightening of external financial conditions characterised by significant volatility in capital flows and sharp increases in borrowing costs in many countries.

The role of local debt markets in enhancing resilience to external shocks by increasing reliance on a local investor base and reducing the share of foreign currency debt was examined.

The session also discussed ways to enhance resilience and finance growth, available options to diversify funding sources, and how to improve public debt management in the context of changing macroeconomic conditions, geopolitical and regulatory environments, and technological advancements.

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