IMF - Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today at the conclusion of a visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:
"It has been a great pleasure to visit Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where I had the privilege of meeting His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. We discussed the economic outlook and current policy developments in Saudi Arabia. I had fruitful discussions with the Minister of Finance H.E. Mohammed Aljadaan and Governor of the Saudi Monetary Authority (SAMA) H.E. Ahmed Alkholifey. I was also pleased to participate in the Future Investment Initiative conference, where I exchanged views with Saudi and global business leaders on economic policy priorities and new models for innovation. I was delighted to meet with Saudi women business leaders, researchers, lawyers and activists. We discussed the recent progress in strengthening women's rights in Saudi Arabia as well as ways to further boost female labor force participation and entrepreneurship.
"Saudi Arabia had made good progress in initiating its ambitious reform agenda. Fiscal consolidation efforts are beginning to bear fruit. Progress with reforms to improve the business environment are gaining momentum, and a framework to increase the transparency and accountability of government is in place. Effective prioritization, sequencing, and coordination of the reforms is essential, and they need to be well-communicated and equitable to gain social buy-in to ensure their success.
"Fiscal adjustment is continuing, with the government containing expenditures and raising additional revenues. A large, sustained, and well-paced fiscal adjustment is needed in the coming years to continue to respond to the effects of lower oil prices on the budget. However, given the strong fiscal buffers, the availability of financing, and the current cyclical position of the economy, fiscal adjustment should be gradual.
"Saudi Arabia is also undertaking reforms to reduce constraints to women entering the workforce. These include subsidizing transportation and childcare costs, expanding the availability of childcare facilities, encouraging greater use of teleworking, and recently, deciding to allow women to drive. Additional incentives to female employment could include supporting female entrepreneurs through dedicated programs under the small and medium enterprise (SME) initiatives, and offering temporary fiscal incentives to help businesses build or reconfigure work spaces to accommodate women in line with social norms.
"I would like to thank the authorities for their generous hospitality."
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AOG - The Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) is to invest around $22bn on new energy projects across the next five years, with the renewables sector accounting for an increasing share of electricity generation, according to CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer.
TRANSCANADA - TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada or the Company) announced net income attributable to common shares for fourth quarter 2017 of $861 million or $0.98 per share compared to a net loss of $358 million or $0.43 per share for the same period in 2016. For the year ended December 31, 2017, net income attributable to common shares was $3.0 billion or $3.44 per share compared to net income of $124 million or $0.16 per share in 2016.
ROSATOM - February 13, 2018, Moscow. – ROSATOM and the Ministry of Scientific Research and Technological Innovations of the Republic of Congo today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy.
FRB - Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in January following four consecutive monthly increases. Manufacturing production was unchanged in January. Mining output fell 1.0 percent, with all of its major component industries recording declines, while the index for utilities moved up 0.6 percent. At 107.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 3.7 percent higher in January than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector fell 0.2 percentage point in January to 77.5 percent, a rate that is 2.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.