Spotlight: B20 Saudi Arabia Finance & Infrastructure Taskforce

19 April 2020
Mr. Rayan Fayez

Chair

Mr. Rayan Fayez

What does it mean to you personally to head the B20 Finance & Infrastructure Taskforce?

I am incredibly honored and humbled to lead the Finance & Infrastructure Taskforce, which is composed of 110 global business leaders from G20 countries and beyond. Through the work of the Taskforce, we’ve been collaborating with key leaders driving change in the finance and infrastructure sectors. I am particularly privileged to work with Taskforce Co-Chairs who are leaders representing global institutions in the finance and infrastructure sectors.

All members of our Taskforce are coming to the discussion table with innovative ideas, critical insights and timely solutions for some of the most pressing challenges we face in encountering viable and sustainable financial and infrastructure solutions for global economies. I am very pleased with the work we have been able to achieve so far which followed the strategic principles we set ourselves at B20 Saudi Arabia: inclusive, action-oriented and differentiated.


Can you provide an overview of the priorities for your Taskforce?

The Finance & Infrastructure Taskforce has identified four key priority areas based on an evaluation of past B20 and G20 policy agendas, which were also enhanced by the direct input of our Taskforce members. We also considered the relevance of these policies to the national and global business community and how it would impact the global economy in the context of today’s political climate. The key priorities include:

  • Increasing private financing in sustainable infrastructure
  • Facilitating sustainable finance
  • Accelerating the role of technology in the financial sector
  • Strengthening global prudential standards and reforms

The impact the COVID-19 pandemic on our people, families, communities and institutions is also at the forefront of everyone’s minds. As such, we’re also making it a top priority to address measures that aim to mitigate the current crisis.


What are the goals of your Taskforce?

The main goal of this Taskforce, in addition to implementing the four key priorities, is to equip the finance and infrastructure sectors with the necessary tools for future growth, while considering the required regulatory framework. At the center of our decision-making is the importance of sustainability and its impact on SDGs, which is a key cross-cutting theme for B20 Saudi Arabia.


What is your Taskforce doing to address the current COVID-19 pandemic?

COVID-19 has hurt the global economy by squeezing both supply and demand, causing an immediate shock to cash flows of businesses. This in turn weakens financial institutions’ asset quality and solvency at a time when regulations are much tighter than before the 2008 financial crisis.

As such, the B20 Finance and Infrastructure Taskforce is recommending to the G20 leaders to put in place a global action plan to mitigate and limit the extent of the shock by addressing both supply of capital and consumer demand drivers. This should include short-term policy actions that support the system from converting a health crisis into an economic and financial crisis, helping avoid a more extensive negative impact on the global economy and society. It is also important not to lose sight of the long-term infrastructure investment objectives that will better equip us to handle future pandemics such as access to internet and digital infrastructure, investments in supply chain infrastructure, and others.


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