ABU DHABI, 7th October, 2016 (WAM) — 7th October, 2016 (WAM) Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs and his accompanying delegation, has held a series of bilateral meetings with officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) in Washington DC alongside the 34th annual meetings of the IMF and WBG.

The meetings aimed to discuss topics related to the Middle East and North Africa region.

The delegation included Mubarak Rashid Al Mansouri, UAE Central Bank Governor; Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Assistant Undersecretary of International Financial Relations Sector at MoF, and a number of experts from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the UAE Central Bank.

Obaid Humaid Al Tayer reviewed the current economic situation in the MENA region, and discussed ways to develop financing mechanisms and provide technical support to the government’s strategic projects that support the region’s economies and strengthen the Gross National Income (GNI) of countries in the MENA regions.

He stressed the importance of the annual meetings for their role in providing an interactive platform for sharing experiences of international institutions and identifying the best international standards in government financial policy.

Al Tayer said, “The UAE continues to work alongside various international and local entities to enhance government financial work and upgrade government investment efficiency. The ministry encourages these entities and institutions to increase support to Arab countries in order to encourage economic growth, create job opportunities and develop easy and innovative financing mechanisms which help in achieving sustainable economic development in the region.”

Al Tayer met with Dr. Hazem Al Beblawi, Executive Director of the IMF to discuss a number of topics including: notes on topics to be discussed during the meeting of International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), topics to be raised by Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of IMF during the Arab Ministers of Finance meeting. The two parties also discussed allocating funds, the Fund’s participation in the World Government Summit as well as preparations for the Arab Group meeting.

He also met with Dr. Mirza Hasan, Executive Director of the Arab Group at WBG, and discussed the invitation extended to the President of the Arab Group to attend the 2017 World Government Summit. The two parties also talked over the updates on the strategy of Arab countries and the next steps for providing support.

Obaid Humaid Al Tayer discussed with Dr. Masood Ahmed, Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, the latest updates in the MENA region and the effects of low oil prices on the GCC countries.

The meeting also covered notes on the topics to be raised by the Managing Director of the IMF during the Economic and Social Council meeting. Al Tayer also took the opportunity to express his gratitude for the services provided by Dr. Masood Ahmed, who will retire after the annual meetings, during his career at IMF.

They also discussed the updates on WBG’s technical support provided to the Ministry’s projects, coordinating policy for the health and education sectors, the public financial management law, oil prices, as well as the latest updates in the Middle East and North Africa region.