Energy security crucial to growth of nations, Saudi minister says
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan attended the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Ministerial Meeting and Forum, held on Tuesday and Wednesday in Vienna, Austria.
The meeting’s agenda included a review of OFID's annual report and financial statements, an assessment of the Fund's performance for the current year, and a discussion of the Fund's plans for the coming year.
The meeting also included a discussion among partner states and institutions about the current status, the Fund's role in bridging the energy poverty gap and potential future scenarios for international development.
During the forum, which coincided with the annual ministerial meeting, Al-Jadaan underscored the importance of considering the security of energy supply and economic development in parallel with climate change challenges. He explained that no country will be able to grow and prosper without the availability of reliable energy sources.
Al-Jadaan emphasized the need for member states to work together to build a climate-resilient future. He noted that supporting both adaptation and mitigation policies requires a strong and well-regulated financial system that provides a sustainable business environment, and called for the use of the large and growing international pool of funds to finance green transitions.
The Saudi minister explained that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had proved in recent years its reliability in stabilizing energy supplies and maintaining global economic health, noting that the recent fuel shortage was largely driven by a lack of refining capacity, followed by underinvestment in energy capital expenditures (CAPEX).
Al-Jadaan welcomed OFID’s efforts on global strategic development challenges, such as the climate change and energy transition, as well as the looming food crisis, appreciating in this context the initiative announced by the Fund at the meeting of the Arab Coordination Group regarding the timely support in the amount of $10 billion for the Joint Action Plan for Food Security. He also emphasized the importance of strengthening OFID fund collaboration with other partners to achieve greater progress and broader development impact.
On the sidelines of the ministerial meeting, the Saudi minister signed a memorandum of understanding with OFID relating to the appointment of qualified employees of the Ministry of Finance to the Fund, out of the keenness of the ministry to provide Saudi qualified personnel the opportunity to work with regional and international organizations.
The Kingdom is the largest contributor to OFID, which was established in 1976 with the aim of strengthening cooperation among member states to help low-income countries increase their economic and social growth.