IsDB President Addresses 7th Annual Arab Fiscal Forum, Urges Transitioning to Green Economy & Embracing Digital Transformation

Dubai, UAE, 12 February 2023 – Islamic Development Bank Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, was a keynote speaker at the Seventh Annual Arab Fiscal Forum, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, under the theme “Fiscal Sustainability in the Arab World beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities.”   

The high-caliber annual event, co-hosted by the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), brought together ministers of finance, governors of central banks in Arab countries, and global experts with state-of-the-art skills in the fields of macroeconomics, finance, and socio-economic policy.

In his keynote speech, President Al Jasser warned that the current economic downturn threatens to jeopardize several years of development progress, demonstrating how multiple recent global crises have shaken the world economy.

Dr. Al Jasser stated that crises, while undesired, can accelerate transformative change. He called on the Arab partners in the region and their global peers to keep focused on the structural reform agenda while synergizing efforts to sustain recovery, harnessing the huge opportunities offered.

The IsDB President also elaborated on how the successive global crises over the past three years have further underscored the relevance of multilateral financial institutions and their effectiveness in delivering financial and technical assistance in a timely manner. “These crises have also raised expectations and highlighted the need for stronger coordination and greater agility to improve preparedness and responsiveness in individual countries,” he said.

Underlining the need for a paradigm shift towards more demand-driven and result-oriented practices, Dr. Al Jasser touched upon sound monitoring and evaluation systems fed by timely and reliable data and statistics as equally important factors for development effectiveness.

“At the Islamic Development Bank Group, we endeavor to align our corporate and partnership strategies with member countries’ priorities and tackle the cross-cutting challenges related to economic resilience, green economy transition, and the digital era,” he said.

The Islamic Development Bank Group Chairman emphasized the need to strengthen financial cooperation and better connect economies with large financial surpluses to those facing huge financing needs while inviting the participants to embark on the green economy transition and embrace digital transformation. “We also need to endeavor to capture the demographic dividend by increasing our -in quantity and quality- investments in human capital and better delivering on social services,” he noted.

According to Dr. Al Jasser, developing risk monitoring and mitigation tools, tightening coordination, and increasing cooperation would sharpen preparedness and responsiveness to crises. “In this challenging journey, IsDB Group stands as a devoted partner. Our institutional objective remains aligned with the aspirations of our member countries, and we continue to be committed to this objective in the years to come,” he concluded.