Crown Prince proposes increase in capital of Arab financial institutions

January 21, 2013

Arab leaders kicked off the 3rd Arab Economic and Social Development Summit at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh this evening. Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Chairman of the Summit, began by reading a speech on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

“The current and crucial stage experienced by our Arab nation requires all of us to unite and intensify serious and sincere efforts in order to overcome the challenges confronting us and to seek and promote joint Arab action, in a way that positively and significantly affects the lives of Arab citizens, and achieves steady progress, prosperity and a decent life for them,” the Crown Prince declared.

He continued, “The urgent developmental issues facing our countries have become more difficult and complicated given into consideration the recent developments in the Arab world, including important issues such as poverty, unemployment and disease . . . In this regard, we emphasize the importance of the role played by institutions of joint Arab action as well as supporting and strengthening their capacity in order to play the role assigned to them more efficiently.”

As a step towards strengthening Arab institutions, Crown Prince Salman announced the Kingdom’s call for “increasing the capital of Arab financial institutions with no less than 50 percent of its current value, as agreed by the governors of those institutions, in order to keep up with the growing demand for funding Arab development projects and supporting Arab countries, particularly the least developed countries.” Furthermore, he stated, “I also call for increasing the capital of existing joint Arab companies with no less than 50 percent of its current value, as proposed by the boards of directors of those companies, in order to expand their businesses and enhance their participation together with the Arab capitals of the private sector. I am pleased to announce the readiness of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to pay its share as per the increase to be agreed upon.”

During his remarks, Crown Prince Salman stressed the growing importance of the Arab private sector. In this context, he called for the adoption of the Unified Agreement for the Investment of Arab Capital, which aims to encourage inter-Arab investments. In addition, he advocated the adoption of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area, in order to increase inter-Arab trade.

At the conclusion of the session, Crown Prince Salman announced the beginning of a closed-door meeting.

The Kingdom’s delegation to the summit includes Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal; Minister of Interior Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz; Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf; Minister of Economy and Planning Dr. Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Jasser; Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah; and President of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) Dr. Hashim bin Abdullah Yamani.