President Al Jasser Takes Part in 2nd Heads of MDBs Meeting in 2021

Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 20 October 2021 – The second meeting of the Heads of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) in 2021 convened virtually on Wednesday 20 October, chaired by Jin Liqun, President of the Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIIB).

Chief amongst the main topics of discussion were the issues regarding preparation of better grounds for Information Communication Technology (ICT) and regional connectivity as well as the Long-Term Strategy (LTS) facility concerning further climate change related resilience in member countries.

During his remarks at the meeting, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President and Chairman of IsDB Group, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, reiterated: “The pandemic that we have all been going through for two years now, has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that connectivity is paramount in dealing with the consequences of this pandemic, be it in e-learning, e-health, or e-trading. Therefore, to expand the digital frontiers and reducing the digital divide, would require enhanced investments in ICT.”

Dr. Al Jasser further stated that the private sector is capable and ready to invest in these sectors given the preparation of a regulatory framework that is conducive to such investments in competitive environments.

“Life depends on connectivity and thereby on ICT and a lot of developmental imperatives depend on the availability of these ICT services,” he stated.

The IsDB President then elaborated that IsDB has developed an ICT framework and published it in 2019 and has been trying to provide technical assistance to its member countries on how to develop their regulatory frameworks. “It will take a collective action on all of us to really bring to bear the necessity of building these infrastructures under right regulatory frameworks that would enable investments and expand the relevant horizons. The potential in great and the need is even greater, and the regulatory framework is the key,” he said.    

Also featuring in Dr. Al Jasser’s remarks was the need for establishment of a working group by MDBs on Digital Infrastructure to collaborate and together move towards achieving the SDGs. “Moreover, the MDBs may cooperate in a joint fund to move towards the common goal of better digital economies," he suggested.

The IsDB President also expressed joint support with other MDBs for the Long-Term Strategy (LTS) facility with regard to the climate change and decisions aimed at building further resilience in member countries.

Present at the meeting were the heads of all MDBs, including the world Bank, the African Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Central European Bank, the New Development Bank, The Asian Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the European Investment Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.