Saudi Central Bank Chief Urges Caution as Global Economy Faces Headwinds

The head of Saudi Arabia's central bank, Ayman Al-Sayari, issued a warning about potential economic pitfalls during a recent meeting. Al-Sayari, the Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), spoke at the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) Plenary session held during the 2024 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). His remarks focused on the need for continued vigilance in the face of ongoing economic challenges.

Al-Sayari highlighted several areas of concern, including the widening disparity in economic growth between different countries and regions. He pointed out that this divergence threatens to hamper medium-term development prospects. Additionally, Al-Sayari expressed worries about global food security, noting vulnerabilities in the current system. He also emphasized the dangers of elevated debt levels, which could pose a significant risk to financial stability.

While acknowledging the challenges, Al-Sayari also underscored the resilience of the global economy. He pointed to the economy's ability to weather recent strains, such as tightening monetary policies, increased fragmentation, and a slowdown in international trade. The SAMA Governor advocated for strengthening multilateralism to navigate these complex issues. He specifically called for a fair and open international trade system, believing this would foster global stability and inclusivity.

Al-Sayari commended the IMF's role in supporting the global economy. He welcomed the institution's "Global Policy Agenda," a document outlining policy challenges faced by member countries and potential areas where the IMF can provide assistance. However, Al-Sayari also emphasized the need for the IMF to continuously review and adapt its policies to ensure they remain relevant and effective in the face of a rapidly evolving global economic landscape.

On a national level, Al-Sayari expressed confidence in the strength of the Saudi economy. He highlighted the Kingdom's proactive engagement with regional organizations to bolster financial stability throughout the area.

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