By Sam Bridge
Jadwa Investment sees rise in business tourism, higher retail expenditure, increased activity in hotels and positive impact on the local labour market
Saudi Arabia becoming the first Arab nation to take over the G20 presidency is likely to deliver a 0.2 percent boost to the kingdom's non-oil private sector GDP, according to new research.
The G20 presidency, which Saudi Arabia took over from Japan in December, will see it host world leaders for a global summit in its capital Riyadh on November 21-22.
The presidency comes as the oil-rich kingdom has promoted a liberalisation drive, including granting greater rights to women, but faced strong criticism over a crackdown on dissent and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
A new research note from Jadwa Investment said: "Whilst Saudi Arabia’s capital has hosted several large functions in the recent past, the G20 summit differs due to the sheer number of different events related to it.
"In fact, more than 120 workshops, ministerial meetings and specialized seminars have been scheduled to be held in the kingdom throughout the year."
The G20 is an international forum for governments of 19 countries and the European Union (EU) to gather every year.
Saudi Arabia has been participating in the G20 summit since the latter’s inception in 1999, with the kingdom’s membership being ensured by virtue of its crucial importance to the world’s energy markets. Jadwa added: "In addition to further promoting Riyadh as a suitable business and tourism destination, we see the G20 summit directly contributing to raising the kingdom’s GDP. More specifically, we calculate an additional 0.2 percent being added to non-oil private sector GDP as result of hosting the G20 summit. "We see the direct impact of this major event being felt through a rise in business tourism, higher retail expenditure, increased activity in hotels and hospitality sectors and measurable positive impact on the local labour market.
Last month, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hailed the G20 presidency as a "unique opportunity" to shape international consensus.