IMF Chief hails Kingdom’s stabilizing role in global financial crisis

October 4, 2012

During a briefing to members of the Arabic press in Washington yesterday, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Christine Lagarde lauded the stabilizing role played by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states during the global financial crisis. “This is definitely the case with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” she said. “Most oil producing countries in the region are following that trend that has been set by Saudi Arabia [which] is to try to stabilize, to reduce the volatility.”

When asked what future role the Kingdom can play at the IMF, Lagarde responded, “It is no secret that Saudi Arabia in particular has played a key role in the IMF at critical times.” She continued, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was a very significant contributor when it was most needed, particularly during the oil crisis, and I was confident at the time when I started my campaign to raise resources for the fund this winter that Saudi Arabia in particular would be there and would be one of the contributing members in order to raise the resources of the fund. So when my friend [Minister of Finance] Ibrahim Al-Assaf indicated that Saudi Arabia would contribute $15 billion, I was not surprised because it is a tradition for Saudi Arabia to be a partner and to be around and available when times are tough.”

As to whether there is a plan to increase Saudi nationals working at the IMF, Lagarde stated, “This is happening . . . We have actually for the first time hired at the managerial level Saudi nationals and we are looking at economists from Arab countries, but most specifically from Saudi’s economists.”