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Lighthouse - September, 2020.


Saudi Arabia’s former minister for Economy and Planning, Mohammed Al Tuwaijri, has been nominated for the position of Director General at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Mohammed Al Tuwaijri had been the head of risk management at Saudi British Bank before becoming the Managing Director and CEO of JP Morgan Saudi Arabia, after which he moved on to serve as the Group Managing Director, Deputy Chairman, and CEO of HSBC Bank Middle East and North Africa.

He was the kingdom’s minister of economy and planning from 2016, before being relieved in March. As a minister, Al Tuwaijri oversaw sweeping changes the economy initiated as part of Vision 2030, which has set a target of raising the private sector’s contribution to the GDP of 65 percent from its current 40 percent.

In an interview with Al Arabiya at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Al Tuwaijri stressed the importance of the non-oil sector in securing growth. The race is on to lead the World Trade Organization out of the worst crisis that it has faced in its 25 years of existence. “We care to increase the local content and provide jobs when looking into the economic growth, and this is one of the main objectives of Vision 2030, from the privatization program to the industry program,” he stated.

Responsibilities endowed

The newly appointed leader will be entrusted with the task of rebuilding the trust and credibility of the organization, rebooting its deadlocked negotiating agenda, and restoring its paralyzed dispute settlement system keeping in mind the worldwide recession, the pandemic strike, the US-China battle for trade supremacy, an American election season, and also against Brexit’s threats to add instability in the economic relationship between the UK and the European Union.

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