Minister urges more investment in economy
(Washington) – Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa has urged Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to help finance investment in infrastructure and human capital, in order to generate inclusive and sustainable economic growth and create jobs.
The minister said that replenishing fiscal space and promoting trade and investment would enhance resilience and boost productivity.
In his statement to the 95th Meeting of the Development Committee, the minister stressed that designing policies that foster robust and inclusive growth would promote access to quality education and healthcare for all and provide improved equality of opportunity.
The session was held in Washington, D.C. on the side-lines of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings. The statement was delivered on behalf of Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Recognising the critical role the WBG can play in addressing the above-mentioned challenges, he welcomed the positive momentum achieved thus far towards making it a better and stronger institution through utilisation of efficiency and realignment measures, aimed at enhancing organisational effectiveness and ensuring that the WBG is fit-for-purpose.
Given the significant role of the flows of official financing aimed at the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries, the Minister hailed the contribution of Official Development Assistance (ODA), both to finance the needs of Low Income Countries (LIC) and Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations (FCS), as well as to efficiently leverage domestic resources and private capital.
Further, he noted that MDBs and the WBG would have a central role in mobilising the needed “Financing for Development” from all sources, both domestic and international and public and private. Hence, he expressed support to the WBG’s strategy of collaborating with the private sector, which enables improved productivity, job creation and increases consumption levels that form the foundation of future domestic resource mobilisation (DRM).
Increased support from MDBs and the WBG for developing countries seeking to build long-term capacity will be critical in helping those countries achieve their development needs, said the Minister.
Among the three sources of funds that can contribute to addressing the large development finance gap, namely, domestic resource mobilisation; international public finance; and private capital, he believed that the latter is expected to play an increasingly important role, given the relative high volume of capital resources at its disposal, in addition to its role as a source of growth, jobs, and productivity.
Taking into consideration its role in offering investment, advisory and asset management services to encourage private sector development in developing countries, the Minister commended the International Finance Corporation (IFC), saying that it had demonstrated its ability to play a leadership role in mobilising private capital.
He said that in order to mobilise significant additional capital necessary to address the financial costs of fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the IFC should play a leading role in synchronising partnership across the entire WBG, reinforcing the “One World Bank Group” model, strengthening internal coordination, exploring new instruments and strategically leveraging the Group’s financial and economic capital.
He also highlighted the ability to generate better jobs, particularly for youth and women, as an essential requirement for promoting sustainable economic growth, stability and social cohesion.