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Saudi Arabia greenlights IMF regional office in Riyadh

March 21, 2024 at 9:08 am

International Monetary Fund (IMF) [Flickr]

Saudi Arabia has greenlit the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) establishment of a regional office in the capital Riyadh, in a decision which is expected to enable further collaboration between the two and to boost the kingdom’s standing in the global financial community.

According to the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the Saudi Cabinet – presided over by King Salman – approved the permission for the IMF to open its regional office in the Gulf state this week, around two years after they signed the initial agreement for the office back in 2022.

IMF Governor Kristalina Georgieva was cited as saying that the regional branch aims to enhance the global financial institution’s presence in the kingdom as well as to advance collaborative efforts with Arab institutions.

Aside from simply streamlining communications between Riyadh and the IMF and enhancing collaboration, the move could represent the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) further integration into global financial institutions, enabling a new level of policy alignment.

The office – the opening date of which has not yet been revealed – could especially play a prominent role in the IMF’s talks and deals with the region’s developing economies. A key example is Egypt, which the IMF plans to provide with a boost in its financial support package amid Israel’s war on Gaza and the risk of displaced Palestinian refugees being absorbed into Egypt’s Sinai desert.

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