By Andy Sambidge
President Jim Yong Kim says Saudi Arabia plays 'crucial role' on energy, overseas aid and remittances
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, on his first visit to Saudi Arabia, has hailed the Gulf kingdom's leadership role in global and regional economic developments.
Saudi Arabia, a member of the G-20, is a major shareholder in the World Bank Group and a generous supporter to the International Development Agency, which provides concessional financing to low-income countries, said Kim.
“Saudi Arabia plays a crucial role in regional and global economic development as a major source of energy, overseas development assistance, foreign direct investment and remittances,” Kim said.
“I came to the Kingdom to thank the senior leadership of their generosity and also to seek ways to strengthening our partnership with them in order to support other countries in transition in the region as well as those impacted by the tragic conflict in Syria.”
While in Saudi Arabia, Kim also exchanged views on the growing World Bank-Saudi partnership in supporting the poorer countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Kim expressed strong appreciation for the close collaboration with Saudi Arabia in support of Yemen during its transition process.
Saudi Arabia has contributed $3.25 billion to neighboring Yemen to help develop its economy which included a $1 billion deposit to the Central Bank of Yemen.
Kim met with Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al-Assaf, and senior government officials.
Kim said he also visited the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to congratulate its leadership on its 40th anniversary and affirm the importance of the partnership between the two organisations for benefit of mutual member countries.
Kim was accompanied on his trip by Inger Andersen, World Bank regional vice president for MENA; and Mouayed Makhlouf, the International Finance Corporation’s regional director for MENA.
Kim’s visit to Saudi Arabia was part of a three-country trip to the Middle East which also included stops in Lebanon and Jordan.
I hope Kim brought up the issue of women's rights.